News from the senior management team no. 11/2019

Senior management team agrees unanimously on appointment of Committee for Diversity and Gender Equality at AU

In continuation of the conference on gender balance on 8 March, the senior management team wishes to see significant improvements in gender balance at Aarhus University. and has therefore decided to intensify efforts in this area. The first step along this path involves the establishment of a new Committee for Diversity and Gender Equality at AU, headed by the rector and pro-rector.

“We must make improving the gender balance a top priority, primarily because we need the brightest talents from both genders to ensure the highest possible quality in our research and education. Therefore, I’m very excited that we’ll be gaining this central driving force in this area,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen. 

New research network contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In connection with the SDG conference at AU in February 2019, the Committee for Research and External Cooperation (UFFE) announced that it would fund two or three networks based on partnerships between AU, government agencies and institutions and the business community. Two projects have now been awarded funding for implementation of projects over the next couple of years.  

One project, “New Foods for Physical and Mental Well-being”, will be conducting research into and developing sustainable food production. The project is headed by Professor Milena Corredig. The second project, “Overcoming the Challenges of a Circular Economy”, will conduct research into circular economy and how this approach can contribute to the SDGs. The project is headed by Professor Sanne Wøhlk from the Department of Economics and Business Economics.

“In connection with the SDG conference here at AU earlier this year, we decided to establish research networks with a particular focus on the UN SDGs. As a university, it is important that we play a role in achieving these goals, so I am very much looking forward to following these two exciting new projects,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, chair of the Committee for Research and External Cooperation at AU.

Plans for entrepreneurial initiative presented and discussed at business network

AU’s business network met for the second time on 29 April in order to discuss the framework for how AU’s entrepreneurial initiative should be developed. A working group has spent the last six months exploring opportunities and developing ideas for the entrepreneurial initiative, which has been given the working title “Entrepreneur Factory”. Professor of Entrepreneurship Michael Dahl, Aarhus BSS, is heading the working group.

At the network meeting, he presented the plans to a wider audience for the first time. The business network then discussed what the “Entrepreneur Factory” has to offer so that students and researchers will use it, and what they personally can contribute. 

Roadmap for new common timetabling system is ready 

AU’s three existing timetabling systems are to be replaced by single university-wide timetabling system. The new system – TermTime/ExamTime – will be rolled out in a phased process starting in October 2019. The plan has been drawn up following discussions in the senior management team in December, and the system is expected to take effect for timetables starting with the autumn semester in 2020. This will be preceded by six months of ‘shadow planning’, in which the system will be tested on selected teaching and examination activities.

The new system is accompanied by a uniform method of timetabling, which will take account of the need for qualified coordination between teaching and examination activities, the number of students, room size and equipment, as well as proximity to the study and academic environment. The work of rolling out the system will be a collaborative effort between the academic environments across the faculties and the administration.

Communication success celebrates tenth anniversary is celebrating its first major milestone this year. The anniversary celebration will be taking place in the Main Hall on 14 May.

The history portal was launched in 2009, and had to upgrade its servers on the very first day due to the great deal of interest shown in it. The following year, was awarded the Research Communication Award by the Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation. The portal now has around three million visitors a year, who use the site to compile information and teaching material about Danish history from ancient times to the present day. was started by the Department of History and Classical Studies, which is still responsible for running it.

University director blogs on the WPA

The workplace assessment for 2019 has now been completed and the reports have been published. In this month’s blog, University Director Arnold Boon takes a closer look at what he believes the administration needs to focus on improving in light of the survey’s results.


The senior management team publishes a weekly newsletter This includes details of decisions and initiatives from the senior management team, plus current activities and discussions.