Blog entries

Have a nice summer!

After six months of focusing on process optimisation, digitisation and budgets, many of us are now looking forward to the summer holiday, which is just around the corner. Thank you for your commitment, and have a great summer!

Since I started my new job at Aarhus University six months ago, I have visited employees and units all over the university. And these visits haven shown me that we have a lot to be proud of. In a region of the country characterised by ‘jysk’ understatement, that might sound a bit ‘Copenhagenish’, but the words are true nonetheless. Because at every stop on my round of visits, I’ve encountered intensely enthusiastic, highly professional employees – both academic and administrative. This is the fuel that allows the university to deliver excellence in research and education. The combined efforts of researchers, students and administrative staff make it possible to produce new knowledge and talented graduates that make such a difference in society. And I think we should all be pleased about that.

(Please turn on subtitles in the Youtube player above)

I’m also pleased with the support you have shown for the strategic milestones I have been speaking to you about in relation to digitisation, process optimisation and competency development. Many units have already been working intensively to streamline their work processes over a longer period, and my visits have shown me that you’ve achieved good results. We need to transfer these positive results to other units. At the same time, process optimisation is never achieved once and for all: we have come a long way in many areas, but we must continue to assess our own performance critically. The university and the world around us are changing, and our work processes must be adjusted in response.

Some months ago, we launched a number of pilot projects aimed at creating better workflows, and both managers and employees have thrown themselves into these projects with enthusiasm and commitment.  The preliminary results are quite promising. For example at the finance unit at Health, where managers and employees have worked to systematise and restructure their work processes for 12 weeks. This has resulted in more flexible workloads. In addition, managers now have a clearer overview, and employees have a greater sense of community and more knowledge sharing in their daily work. <link to video> We will begin the process of transferring the experiences gained from this and other pilot projects to other units after the summer holiday.

When I speak with you on different occasions, I sense that you feel a certain degree of uncertainty about the future. And I empathise with those of you who react to discussions of budget plans and efficiency measures with a degree of anxiety. In response, I’d like to say that I sincerely believe that Aarhus University is in a strong position to handle the future, and this applies to the administration as well. We have a solid organisation staffed by talented, committed employees, and we are already in the process of addressing the challenges we can see on the horizon, both short-term and long-term. And so I’m confident that together we will find sensible solutions to the challenges we face in the administration.

I’m looking forward to continuing to work with you to develop the administration when you return after a well-deserved holiday. An excellent summer to you all!