Taking stock of 2019: A year of transformation for AU
Over the course of the year, I've visited a great many of you in a variety of administrative units, sections and functions. As I take stock of 2019 here at year-end, what strikes me is how much I’ve enjoyed these encounters, which always bring home to me that we’re all part of a team of professionals that has the desire, motivation and commitment to always do what is best for the university.
It’s clear that AU – thanks to you efforts – has made decisive progress in many important areas in 2019, kickstarting the transformation that will ensure the best framework for research and education – also in the future.
As I’ve visited different parts of the administration, I’ve noticed that more and more sections and teams are working hard on process optimisation and increasing the efficiency of the operations. Walking the talk – and that’s what driving our transformation. I see more employees working systematically with process optimisation, in this way working more efficiently while also creating meaning in their work. I also see that our shared focus on leadership development has given more and more managers the tools to improve their operational management. For example, more and more units at different levels of the organisation have integrated task boards into their operations.
I am also have great respect for the fact that many of you – both employees and managers – are seizing the potential of digital changes. It’s challenging. It’s demanding. But it’s also the way forward. In 2019, you’ve helped kickstart a major digital transformation in studies administration and teaching, implemented a new e-recruitment system, worked with powerBI to strengthen our management information and optimised our entire IT infrastructure, to take just a few examples. Rest assured – your efforts are seen and felt. I hope that you will enter 2020 with the same courage to continue using new digital technologies to the benefit of AU.
Finally, I’ve noticed a high degree of commitment on the ground to work together to improve the administration as a workplace. We can only generate good results if we thrive in our work. And there are a lot of factors involved in that. Among other things, I’ve noticed that competency development seems to play a significant role. At a time when AU is in the process of transformation, the palette of possibilities for competency development is something we need to focus on and support – through formal courses, by taking on new tasks, participating in internal seminars, courses, e-learning and other forms of learning. I promise that competency development will play a central role in 2020.
Now, I imagine that a Christmas wish for many of you would be more money for the administration in the new year. But even though the Finance Act for 2020 promises better times for the university sector, the senior management team will retain the current course of increasing the administration’s efficiency. This is not because we don’t acknowledge the value of good administration. On the contrary. We’re doing this to ensure that we will continue to have the resources to invest in the development of the administration, to the benefit of students and researchers. I’m convinced that we will succeed together.
I’d like to round off 2019 with my heartfelt thanks for your professional engagement and impressive results – in all parts of the central administration and in the administrative units. I’m looking forward to starting 2020 with renewed energy after a well-deserved Christmas holiday.
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all