News from the senior management team no. 29/2019

Rector: We need to learn from our mistakes

It’s important to focus on the future, even though we’re currently explaining the mistakes of the past, says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen in a comment on the the study of the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture reports.

Unfortunately, the beef report and the subsequent investigation of 55 DCA reports have shown that mistakes have been made at the university. The worst mistakes, however, are the ones you don’t learn from. This is why it’s very important to me that Aarhus University comes out of this stronger, and that we use this constructively in our future efforts for society.

Rector and pro-rector: Extend the taximeter increase

In an article on Altinget, Brian Bech Nielsen and Berit Eika wrote that the taximeter increase in the humanities and social science degree programmes has had a major impact on both quality and study environment over the past ten years.

These degree programmes are of great importance to our future society, and this is why Brian Bech Nielsen and Berit Eika are urging politicians to maintain the taximeter increase, which is currently in danger of being removed from the Finance Act.

Aarhus University to switch from Blackboard to Brightspace

The university's learning platform, Blackboard, has been subject to a statutory tendering procedure. As a result, a new learning platform – Brightspace – has been selected. The system is a good match in relation to the specifications AU set out in the tender documents. This applies in particular to the platform’s pedagogical quality, functionality and user-friendliness.

Pro-rector Berit Eika is heading the steering committee that will be responsible for the implementation. Pro-rector Berit recognises that a switch will be resource intensive, but she is positive about the new learning platform.

The platform is expected to be ready for implementation in the spring of 2021, so that it will become fully operational from the autumn semester in 2021. In the intervening period, the pro-rector encourages teaching staff to continue their activities on Blackboard as before – not least out of consideration for student life and learning. A requirement for AU's new supplier has been that existing course content can be transferred to a new learning platform – and focus will be on this in the transition to Brightspace.

AUFF publishes budget for grants in 2020

The board of the Aarhus University Research Foundation (AUFF) has decided how to allocate funding for research in 2020.

The largest item is AUFF Starting Grants, which will support recruitment of assistant professors, associate professors and professors at international level with DKK 50 million. The AUFF NOVA funding programme will also be continued in 2020, where DKK 30 million have been allocated for particularly bold research ideas which may have difficulties obtaining support elsewhere.

A new element is that, in 2020, DKK 5 million have been allocated for mobility funds. Both incoming and outgoing researchers can apply for these funds.

In addition, the foundation will continue to support Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS), and funding has also been earmarked for research stays, flexible PhD programmes and much more.

The AUFF Flagships funding programme is not expected to grant funding for extraordinary projects again until 2021, but a grant call is expected in 2020.

Register your publications in Pure – the deadline is approaching

Wednesday 15 January 2020 is the deadline for reporting publications published in 2019. This is also the deadline for making your publications accessible in Open Access.

The election is over – the first results are ready

Thursday 14 November at 4pm was the last chance to vote in this year's university elections. Just over 21% voted in the elections - an increase compared with last year, where the total voter turnout was just over 18%.

This year had 16 contested elections, and the results are expected to be published on the election website on Monday 18 November. You can already see the results of uncontested elections and cancelled elections.

Aarhus University has appointed a new data protection officer

Søren Broberg Nielsen has been appointed the new data protection officer (DPO) at Aarhus University. He will be responsible for advising and helping the university in complying with the data protection regulations. He comes from a position as deputy director of the Department of Civil Affairs in Viborg where he was responsible for data protection and information security. Søren Broberg Nielsen will start on 1 January 2020 and he will be based at AU Research Support and External Relations on Katrinebjergvej.

Aarhus Investor Summit brought together researchers and investors

On Thursday 14 November, approximately 40 investors gathered at Aarhus University for the Aarhus Investor Summit – Science Edition. Together with Incuba, Aarhus University organised the event, where AU researchers showed various examples of spin-outs. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen welcomed the participants.


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