News from the senior management team no. 31/2018

Connie Hedegaard reappointed as chair of the Aarhus University Board

Minister for Higher Education and Science Tommy Ahlers has approved the reappointment of Connie Hedegaard as chair of the Aarhus University Board. The board voted unanimously to reappoint Hedegaard as chair of the Aarhus University Board at a meeting of 27 June. Her reappointment was approved by the minister for higher education and science as required by the reappointment procedure guidelines. Her term will run from 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2022.

Hedegaard replaced Michael Christiansen as chair of the Aarhus University Board last year. She has been a member of the board since 2014.

AU rector accepts offer of renewed contract

At a meeting on 1 October, the board voted to offer Rector Brian Bech Nielsen a renewal of his appointment, and the rector has accepted. The rector’s fixed-term contract expires on 5 August 2019, and the renewal means that his term as rector will end at the end of July 2022 with this three-year extension. 

A week honouring a Nobel Prize Laureate

Next week, Aarhus University will honour the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nobel Laureate Jens Christian Skou with a variety of events celebrating his legacy. The week’s highlight will be the inauguration of the Department of Biomedicine’s new research facility, the Skou Building, on Monday 8 October. With its traditional yellow bricks and design in the spirit of C.F: Møller, the new seven-storey building is a harmonious addition to the University Park.   

The 100th anniversary of Skou’s birth will also be celebrated at the Steno Museum, which will open the exhibit ‘Science is passion’ on the same day. The exhibit will include a reconstruction of Skou’s former office at the university. 

Unfortunately, Skou did not live to perform the inauguration of the Skou Building and participate in the events planned for next week, as was the university’s wish, as he passed away earlier this year. However, the university will have the honour of the participation of Skou’s widow, their two daughters and their grandchildren in the inauguration of the building and the opening of the exhibition to honour of his memory. 

On 11 October, the Faculty of Health will confer its talent prize, the Jens Christian Skou Prize, which carries a cash award of 100,000 kroner. 

Development takes time and resources

In his latest blog post, University Director Arnold Bloom emphasises the importance of finding time and resources to continually develop our work processes while also attending to the administration’s core task: ensuring smooth operations.

Positive international evaluation of AIAS

In just five years, AIAS has achieved impressive results and recognition as a significant presence on the international research scene. This is the conclusion reached by a panel of eminent international researchers responsible for evaluating AIAS, which opened five years ago. In the course of these five years, AIAS has won two major EU grants, a total of approx. 86 million kroner. The evaluation was commissioned by Aarhus University, and the panel was appointed by Rector Brian Bech Nielsen. 

Panel members:

  • Professor Dr. Wilhelm Krull, chair of the Volkswagen Foundation (one of Europe’s largest research foundations; chair of the panel)
  • Professor Diana Hicks from the School of Public Policy at Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  • Professor Emeritus Peter Goddard, former director of the Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies, USA
  • Professor Michal Linial, director of the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

Read more

Times Higher Education (THE) puts AU at no. 123 in new world university ranking

The most recent THE university ranking puts AU at number 123 on the list of the world’s best universities.

The ranking was awarded on the background of a total score based on a wide range of indicators. Aarhus University’s total score this year is 59 points out of 100, down from 59.4 in 2017. This slight drop moves AU 14 places down the ranking list. This is due to the fact that the scores of the universities at around this position on the list are very close.

Here is an overview of the performance indicators on which THE bases the total score:

  • Citations (weighted 30%)
  • Research, including reputation based on a survey (18%) and research income per academic staff member (6%)
  • Teaching, including reputation survey (15%) and staff-to-student ratio (4.5%)
  • International outlook, including international-to-domestic staff and student ratios (2.5% respectively)
  • Industry income, calculated on the basis of how much research income an institution earns from industry relative to number of academic staff (2.5%).

Four Danish universities rank among the 200 best universities in the world on the THE list: The University of Copenhagen is number 116, AU is number 123, the Technical University of Denmark is number 163, and Aalborg University, joining the top 200 for the first time, is number 194.

On the THE website, you can read more about the THE rankings, including the list in its entirety and the method used in calculating the results and the scores of the individual universities. 

Arts students create solutions in Silkeborg

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, 175 students from Arts invented solutions for a number of companies in Silkeborg in connection with the Stay Relevant case competition, which was the result of a collaboration agreement between the Municipality of Silkeborg and Aarhus University. 

The Stay Relevant competition is part of the faculty’s strategic focus on business and industry, which focusses in particular on creating career-advancement activities for students. The case competition helped open the students’ eyes to what they have to contribute to businesses outside their field, according to a student from the winning team.

Time for SDDs

During September, October and November of 2018, all employees will meet with their managers for the staff development dialogues (SDDs) at Aarhus University.


  • 8 October: Inauguration of the Skou Building and opening of an exhibition about Jens Christian Skou on the occasion of his 100th birthday 
  • 8 October: 2018 East Jutland Summit with Business Region Aarhus 
  • 1 November: conference on student retention and attrition: ‘Why don’t they stay?’
  • 2 November: Aarhus Symposium
  • 5 November: Network event for senior managers in the upper secondary sector
  • 22 November: Joint meeting of the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee and the Main Liaison Committee

The senior management team publishes a newsletter once a week. This includes details of decisions and initiatives from the senior management team plus current activities and discussions. You can register for the newsletter here,and you will then receive an email every time it is published.

Read earlier editions of news from the senior management team .