News from the senior management team no. 18/2015

Johnny Laursen appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1 June

Following a recruitment process headed by Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, Aarhus University has appointed Johnny Laursen as dean of Arts from 1 June.

Johnny Laursen previously headed the faculty’s graduate school, and last summer was appointed acting dean. He is greatly looking forward to continuing the faculty’s academic development in collaboration with staff and students.

The position of dean of Aarhus BSS has been advertised, and the appointment committee will be conducting interviews in the near future. There were six applicants for the job.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Denmark’s first particle centre

On Friday 29 May, Bent Hansen, Chairman of the Regional Council of Central Denmark Region, cut the first sod for the new National Centre for Particle Radiotherapy. The centre will be the only one of its kind in Denmark, and in future will offer highly specialised cancer treatment of a kind previously unavailable in Denmark.

The centre will begin treating patients in 2018.

New NMR spectroscope inaugurated

On Wednesday 3 June, Aarhus University is inaugurating a new NMR spectrometer based on northern Europe’s biggest magnet. The NMR spectrometer is part of the Danish Centre for Ultrahigh Field NMR Spectroscopy which is being inaugurated on the same day.

The NMR spectrometer uses the same technology as hospital MR scanners, but is approximately ten times more powerful. Using the magnet, researchers will be able to achieve a far higher level of detail and assess far more complex molecular contexts than previously. It will support research within a number of areas, for example the development of new drugs and materials as well as food research. 

Management meeting on competency development  

The university’s senior management discussed staff competency development at a meeting on 27 May.

The senior management team emphasises the importance of making staff competency development a high priority, in order to ensure that Aarhus University is an attractive workplace. Likewise, AU’s competitiveness and skills also depend on the continuous development of staff competencies. The need to consider competencies in a broad sense was discussed. While it is important to focus on the individual employee’s core competencies, generally speaking university employees also need digital literacy and a high level of language proficiency. 

Mention was also made of the fact that many initiatives have already been implemented. However, it may be necessary to advertise them more locally and take an even more targeted approach to competency development.

Based on the input from the theme meeting, the Main Liaison Committee (HSU) will be invited to the meeting in September.

Cheaper stays at Sandbjerg 

To make it more attractive for Aarhus University staff to use the Sandbjerg Estate course centre, prices for 24-hour stays have been reduced by 25%. With a view to ensuring the financial health of the Sandbjerg Estate, Aarhus University is increasing its annual funding for the establishment by DKK 1.5 million. The new prices will take effect from 1 June.

Sandbjerg Estate was originally bequeathed to Aarhus University by Ellen Dahl, the sister of Karen Blixen. She had owned the estate with her husband, the Copenhagen-based barrister Knud Dahl. Following his death, Ellen Dahl opened Sandbjerg Estate to cultural personalities and scientists. When she died in 1959, the university assumed full control of the estate.


  • 1-4 June: Annual meeting of the Coimbra group
  • 3 June: Meeting with the Confederation of Danish Industry’s research committee
  • 5 June: Inauguration of the basic research centre Music in the Brain
  • 9 June: University management seminar at Sandbjerg Estate
  • 11-14 June: Denmark’s Political Festival on Bornholm
  • 17 June: University Board meeting
  • 18 June: General election in Denmark
  • 19 June: Summer events at AU
  • 22 June: Meeting of the Main Liaison Committee/Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee

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