Time for much-needed holiday after a challenging semester
The summer holiday is just around the corner – and it’s much-needed and well-deserved. When we return to campus in August, the university will be open for business as usual, and we will be able to put the shutdown and a challenging semester behind us. And as for me, I will also be leaving this blog behind – but I will continue the dialogue through other channels.
I’m going to say it like it is: This past semester has been extraordinarily challenging.
Covid has been challenging us since March 2020, time and time again. Uncertainty, restrictions on meeting at the university and many sudden upheavals have been our new normal. Since mid-June, we have relaxed restrictions on on-site activities further, and the university will be fully reopened from 1 August.
This means that once again, AU’s campuses will be the primary workplace for our tasks, collaboration and collegial fellowship – and as I’ve mentioned before in a variety of contexts, we must remember to take what we’ve learned from working under Covid with us as we move forward.
In addition to Covid, other challenges – including the cutbacks at Technical Sciences, the controversy surrounding how AU has handled freedom of information requests and the political agreement to relocate degree programmes to smaller cities – have made their mark on our agendas, both internally and externally, as well as on our work in the administration.
The extraordinary pressure we all faced this spring is a testimony to the complex reality in which we work in the administration at AU. And it reminds us of the responsibility we bear as a public-sector organisation under political control with thousands of employees, students and stakeholders.
Again and again, you demonstrate that you are prepared to deal with upheavals while continuing to provide administrative support of the highest quality – even when You contribute to bringing the university safely through the challenges that inevitably arise. This is something to be proud of. And it’s something we need to continue doing together!
We must have a common vision for the future of the administration
Our strong working methods and processes – and not least our collegial fellowship – are precisely what will help form the basis for the administration's ability to handle complex tasks professionally and efficiently – a need that will not be reduced in the future. We must continue to develop, and a common vision for the future in the administration must set a course for what we need to focus on to ensure that we succeed in rising to and solving the challenges and tasks that we encounter, externally and internally.
The administration’s task is to support and contribute to Strategy 2025. We stand on a solid foundation: over recent years, we have developed our competencies, optimised our processes and created common solutions. These are areas we must continue to develop. And now we’re ready to take the next step.
In coming years, we must improve our ability to work together across the university’s administrative areas, and in collaboration with research and teaching programmes, develop our role as service-oriented, strategic and proactive advisers who build bridges between TAP and VIP. And we must maintain a sharp focus on succeeding with the digital transformation, in order to free up resources that can contribute to the university’s core activities.
The administration’s management team (LEA) has sketched out a draft of what they consider the most important focus areas for the administration. Before the summer holiday, LEA will initiate dialogue with line managers and heads of department/school secretariats about the vision for the future, and after the summer holiday, other managers and employees will be involved. The goal is a dynamic process, through which we develop the vision for the future in dialogue with each other, and in the course of which we launch concrete activities.
The blog will be replaced by other channels after the summer holiday
Because dialogue is important. For over five years now – in fact, for as long as I’ve been working at AU – I’ve used the blog as a channel to share my thoughts about major strategic decisions and initiatives that have significance for the administration.
And I’ve also used the blog to encourage you to contribute your input. But it’s time for a change. I haven’t yet decided on what format to choose, but one thing is certain: I will continue this dialogue with you in a different way.
Thank you to everyone who has read this blog. We will meet again after the summer holiday on other channels, and fortunately, also in person on campus. Until then, I would like to wish you all a great summer.