Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With sincere thanks for your hard work in 2016, I would like to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I look forward to continuing our good collaboration in 2017.
(Captions available in the video player)
In just a few days, we will all take a break from everyday life to enjoy cookies, mulled wine and the company of family and friends. And we certainly need a break, because 2016 has been a busy year.
We’ve achieved important milestones in our development projects in all administrative divisions, on top of the thousands of daily tasks which keep the wheels of the university turning. During my latest round of visits to all administrative units, I listened to some of your success stories, which you had selected from a much longer list. We perform a great many services and tasks very well to the benefit of researchers and students. And one thing I noticed from your presentations is that success is often linked to close involvement of researchers and students along the way. We must continue to foster and develop our close contact to teaching and research programmes.
The university’s financial situation was a dominant issue in the entire first half of 2016. Both the faculties and the administration have developed a plan to ensure that the university is able to adapt to the revenue cutbacks in the Finance Act. For the administration, the plan, which was approved by the board in June, means that we can continue our ongoing efforts to reduce administrative costs and streamline work routines in a calm and deliberate manner.
In the spring, we started a number of pilot projects aimed at optimising work processes within financial management and degree programme administration. I am very pleased to see that this systematic approach to improving work processes has produced considerable benefits, both for the organisation and the employees: improved quality in work performance, better planning and prioritisation, more flexibility in the workday, and a greater sense of community in relation to work assignments and responsibilities. In other words, we’re getting more for the same money – and at the same time, the employees have enjoyed their work more.
Over the course of the autumn, we worked to spread these positive experiences to other parts of the organisation, which was also a great success. Some of the team leaders and employees involved in these projects participated in a course, in order to ensure that the new methods take root in our organisation. We will continue this work in 2017, in addition to the many other large and small tasks we can look forward to in 2017.
But now it’s time for a well-deserved Christmas holiday. Thank you for your whole-hearted contributions and hard work in 2016! I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting down to work with you again in the new year.