News from the senior management team no. 20/2019

Follow-up on criticism of report on the climate impact of beef and veal

Rector Brian Bech Nielsen has asked Science and Technology to make a thorough investigation of the facts surrounding the report on the climate impact of beef and veal and take the action necessary. The process leading up to the publication of the report was highly objectionable. The requisite arm’s length principle of independence from external stakeholders was not respected, and this has called into question the university's autonomy and integrity. This is completely unacceptable.

The head of the Department of Agroecology, Erik Steen Kristensen, has agreed to resign as head of department and will be leaving Aarhus University. Dean Lars Henrik Andersen has appointed Professor Jørgen E. Olesen as acting head of department until 31 March 2020.

Rector Brian Bech Nielsen has discussed the matter in depth with the dean, and they have subsequently decided on a number of initiatives.

The consultation process for Aarhus University’s 2025 strategy is now open

Staff and students can now read and comment on the draft of AU's upcoming strategy.

The proposed strategy represents a continuation of the university’s current course, with the addition of new targets and focus areas. The ongoing academic initiatives, for example for the IT and engineering areas, will continue. Work on increasing diversity has been incorporated, and internationalisation is an important focus throughout the strategy. Sustainability is a new focus area.  

The strategy’s overarching vision is for Aarhus University to continue developing into an even stronger research-intensive university that excels in creating value through knowledge, new insights and collaboration.

The draft of the university’s new strategy was drawn up by the senior management team in dialogue with the board and the rest of the management, with heads of department/school and centre directors.

Rector Brian Bech Nielsen hopes that the consultation will serve to spark a more general dialogue on the university’s role in society and that this will engage both staff and students.

The faculty management teams and department/school management teams are organising and coordinating the consultation at local level. Staff and students are welcome to submit their input to their local department/school management team, their local liaison committee or their student organisation. The consultation for the draft strategy will remain open until 24 October at 9:00 a.m.

Two coveted EU grants for AU researchers

Two researchers from Aarhus University have received a grant from the prestigious ERC Startup pool under the EU Research and Innovation Programme, Horizon 2020.

Patrick Biller, environmental engineer and assistant professor at the Department of Engineering, has received DKK 11.2 million for a new project with great potential for far more sustainable management of wet waste that will the benefit the environment all over the world.

Mette Løvschal, archaeologist and associate professor at the School of Culture and Society - Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies has received the same amount for a new project called ANTHEA. The project will examine the very special communities who have used heaths and made it possible to maintain heaths for more than 4,000 years.

Apply for EDU IT funding  

For the third year in a row, members of teaching staff at Aarhus University can now apply for funding for experiments with digital learning technologies in teaching. Anyone with a good EDU IT idea is welcome to apply for funding from the pool. The deadline for applications is 11 October, and the funds have to be used in 2020. 

Honorary doctorates and exceptionally talented students

The university's annual celebration is approaching, and as always the festivities will include appointment of four honorary doctors and award of the HM Queen Margrethe II Travel Grant to four exceptionally talented students.

The grant recipients will be presented with their prizes at a ceremony in the Main Hall on Friday, 13 September. Everyone who has registered for the annual celebration will be informed of the results of the draw by email in the middle of week 36. 

AU debates digital literacy and skills acquisition in a tech era

This year AU again took part in the people's democratic festival for education policy - ‘The Education Debate’ - to be held in Nørre Nissum on 5 and 6 September.

Taking outset in this year's theme – digital literacy and skills acquisition in a tech era – AU is hosting a workshop in collaboration with the Digitalisation Committee under the Danish Association of Upper Secondary Schools, which will discuss how progression in technology understanding and digital competencies through the educational system could be organised.

Among the keynote speakers and panel participants for the Education Debate are several AU researchers, including Professor Ole Sejer Iversen and Associate Professor Stine Liv Johansen, who is also a media researcher.

Pro-Rector Berit Eika will be taking part in Friday's event, when she will be discussing the region's STEM initiatives under the Central Jutland technology pact.

Participation in the Education Debate is free and everyone is welcome. Prior registration is not required.

Arts’ dean strikes a blow for the Danish admissions system

In an article in the online newspaper on 3 September, Johnny Laursen, dean of the Faculty of Arts, expresses his surprise at the current criticism of the Danish admissions system. According to the dean, changes to the admissions system will not solve problems with stress, social inequality or broken academic dreams. On the other hand, he stresses that the Danish system is efficient, fair and flexible – also in an international context.

1,910 AU staff participated in the 2019 DHL relay race

A total of 1,910 AU staff had signed up to run or walk the five-kilometre route in Aarhus, Odense or Copenhagen. It is extremely pleasing that so many colleagues used the DHL event as an opportunity to be together in friendly and informal surroundings. 

Changes in parking availability around the University Park In the period 6-15 September 2019

Please note that some of the parking options close to the University Park will be unavailable in the period leading up to the 90th anniversary celebration on 13 September and during the weekend after, when the students will be enjoying Denmark’s Biggest Friday Bar and Sports Day.

The Aarhus University Research Foundation celebrates 75 years

During the weekend, the Aarhus University Research Foundation celebrated its 75-year anniversary with an event at the former University Hospital, and the festivities will not end here. The anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year with a new anniversary series, ‘75 years serving science’. Every week for a year, you will be able to read a new portrait of an AU researchers who received a grant from the foundation in the period from 1944 to the present. The first portrait was published on 28 August.



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