News from the senior management team no. 20/2015

Dean at Aarhus BSS

Thomas Pallesen has been appointed new dean of Aarhus BSS, and takes up his position on 1 July. The appointment was made by an appointment committee headed by the rector. Thomas Pallesen has been head of the Department of Political Science since 2009, and from 2005 to 2009 he was director of studies there. One of his first tasks will be to appoint three department heads.

The timing of his appointment allows him to be involved in the process of finding new heads for the Department of Economics and Business Economics and the Department of Management, and his current position as head of the Department of Political Science will also be advertised as soon as possible.

Thomas Pallesen is a professor of public administration. He has headed the Department of Political Science since 2009, having held the position of director of studies there in 2005-2009.

Inaugural reception for Johnny Laursen

To mark Johnny Laursen’s appointment as dean of Arts, Aarhus University is inviting its partners, employees and students to a reception on Wednesday 24 June at 15:00.

Please register for the event by 22 June 2015 to allow refreshments to be planned.

Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen continues as department head

Headed by Dean Niels Christian Nielsen, the appointment committee has appointed Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen head of the Department of Animal Science, a position he is already quite familiar with.

Klaus Lønne Ingvartsen has been head of the department since 2011, and before that he was head of the Department of Animal Health and Bioscience from 2007-2011.

54 DFF grants for AU researchers

The Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) has just announced its grants for 2015.At Aarhus University, 54 projects have been awarded grants out of 179 grants in all. The grants will give researchers the opportunity to explore scientific questions which they have identified as being of crucial importance within their field, says the Danish Council for Independent Research.

The researchers from Aarhus University have received grants totalling DKK 177 million, which is a very impressive result. In all, grants worth DKK 600 million were awarded. The council received 1,436 applications, which equates to a success rate of 12.1 per cent.

How do we achieve excellence in education and research?

At the annual management seminar on 9 June at Sandbjerg Estate, the management focused on excellence in education and research through panel debates, short case presentations from the faculties and academic discussions. In the panel debates about research, the management discussed specific initiatives and measures aimed at strengthening AU’s research position.

The main themes included recruitment, encouraging junior research talents and external research funding. The topics discussed by the management included ways of strengthening international recruitment, including collaboration with businesses on good job prospects for accompanying spouses.

Discussed were also specific ways of attracting more external research funding. With regard to education, the discussions centred on how the university can realise its three key priorities:

1) to improve the quality of its degree programmes.

2) to encourage students to put more time and energy into their studies.

3) to ensure a better match between the degree programmes and the labour market.

The specific topics for discussion included feedback as a tool for encouraging students to put more time and energy into their studies, initiatives to prevent students from dropping out, and strategies for improving teaching.

Another important aim of the seminar was to give the two interdisciplinary committees, the Committee on Education and the Committee for Research and External Cooperationm input for their work.

After the summer holidays, the senior management team will look at the results of the management seminar and the proposals from the two committees.

DI wants one-year Master’s theses

One-year Master’s theses, PhDs and cooperation on infrastructure were the key themes when the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) visited the university.

DI expressed considerable satisfaction with the university’s plans to introduce one-year Master’s theses on degree programmes where it makes sense and where it is possible for students to combine the writing of their thesis with a project based at a company or public institution. “We love thesis students,” as one DI representative put it, referring to all the positive cooperation they have had with thesis students.

DI acknowledged that the considerable progress made in Danish research is largely attributable to the fact that PhDs have helped to drive Danish research forwards, while also expressing some reserve regarding the universities’ strong focus on PhDs, especially if they subsequently end up in jobs which do not require a PhD degree. DI is looking forward to further cooperation on industrial PhDs, and agreed with AU that solutions must be found to make it more attractive for small businesses to take on industrial PhDs. DI also proposed that a joint AU/DI working group should be established to take a close look at the PhD initiative. In addition, there was widespread agreement that it would be an advantage to develop the collaboration on research facilities.

Apropos of which, the visit ended with DI participating in the inauguration of the new and highly sophisticated NMR equipment at iNANO, which was christened ‘Store Karl’ (Big Karl) after Karl Pedersen, the former dean at the former Faculty of Science.

Decision on the merger of the School for Dental Assistants, Hygienists and Clinical Technicians and the Department of Dentistry postponed until December

The University Board acknowledges the dean of Health’s vision of a united oral and dental department, but would like to see a more detailed description of the proposal. Not least out of regard for the employees.


  • 24 June: Inaugural reception for Johnny Laursen at the Faculty of Arts at 15:00 in Stakladen
  • 29 June: Meeting of the Main Liaison Committee/Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee


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