News from the senior management team no. 38/2015

Finances balanced – but major challenges ahead

After the major budget cuts of 2014, balance has been restored to Aarhus University’s finances. With an expected operating surplus of approx. DKK 65 million in 2015, the university is in a reasonable position to counterbalance the government’s announced cutbacks to research and education in the 2016-2019 period, when Aarhus University expects a drop in income. 

Against this background, the senior management team will be spending the coming months, up until mid-2016, planning how best to handle the challenges the university will faces from 2017 onwards so as to ensure financial balance and the flexibility to make future academic prioritisations.

The University Board approved the interim report for Q3 and the budget for 2016 at its meeting on 3 December. The final accounts for 2015 are expected to be approved at the board meeting in February 2016.

Arnold Boon to start as university director on 1 January

Aarhus University’s new university director is 48-year-old Arnold Boon. For the past nine years, he has served as administrative and faculty director of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (SUND) at the University of Copenhagen. 

Arnold Boon is deeply familiar with the world of education and research. After eight years as a researcher at the former Danish Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Economics, Arnold Boon decided to pursue a career within management and administration. In 1999, he became executive management assistant at the Danish Institute for Agricultural Sciences, after which he held managerial positions at the Directorate for Food, Fisheries and Agri Business and the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research. In 2004, Arnold Boon took up his most recent position as faculty director at the University of Copenhagen. Arnold Boon also holds a PhD in business administration and a Master of Public Governance (Strategy), both of which he earned while working first as a researcher and later as an administrator.

Arnold Boon will take up his new position on 1 January 2016.

There were eleven applicants for the position, all of them highly qualified.

New joint dental care department

At its meeting on 3 December, the University Board approved a proposal to merge the School of Oral Health Care and the Department of Dentistry.

A joint department will ensure greater coherence between research and education. In step with improvements in the dental health of the population in general, more procedures at dental clinics will require intensive, interdisciplinary teamwork involving several fields of expertise.

The first step will be the appointment of a head of department. The first task for the new department head will be to effect the merger in collaboration with a transitional management team comprising the current acting school and department heads. 

Newly elected board members

Professor Susanne Bødker (Department of Computer Science) and Associate Professor Søren Pold (School of Communication and Culture) have been elected to the University Board as representatives of the academic staff at Aarhus University. Susanne Bødker was re-elected, while Søren Pold (who took over from Peter Bugge in the last election period) is now a member of the board rather than a substitute.

Moreover, Anna Louise Plaskett, team leader at the Arts Administrative Centre, has been elected as a representative of the technical/administrative staff. She replaces Laboratory Technician Bertha P. Beck Mortensen from the Department of Biomedicine.

The students have chosen Sarah Yde Junge, a Master’s degree student from the Department of Political Science, and Lieve Vermeulen, a Master’s degree student from the Department of Culture and Society, as their representatives on the board. The new members officially join the University Board on 1 February 2016.

Science and Technology switches to semester-based academic year

As of September 2017, courses at Science and Technology will be organised according to a semester structure that will replace the current quarterly model. The decision has just been made by the faculty management team.

Rector’s chain of office turns 80

The rector’s chain of office was given to Aarhus University in 1935, and was used for the first time at the appointment ceremony for the new rector on 4 December the same year. Earlier that year, the statutes of the newly established university had been approved by the Danish Ministry of Education, after which the term ‘rector’ came into use.

The then chairman of the University Board, Carl Holst-Knudsen, wanted to mark the fact that the university’s formal framework was in place. He therefore organised an appointment ceremony for the rector and  presented the rector’s chain of office to the university on that occasion.  


  • 9 December: After-work meeting on teaching evaluation(in Danish)
  • 14-15 January: Research and Innovation meeting 2016
  • 24 February: Board meeting


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