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A new term for the deans

A big white building. Photo
The University building. Photo: Mikael Risedal

A new three-year term of office has begun for the University’s eight deans. Five are new in the role, while three have been around for some time. LUM has put a few questions to each of them.

Annika Olsson, Faculty of Engineering (LTH), second term of office

a woman with glasses. Photo
Annika Olsson. Photo: Kennet Ruona

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean? 

“Since I’m starting my second term as dean, LTH will continue with what we started during the previous term of office, based on our strategy. The areas that we will continue with are implementation of new recruitment strategy and LTH’s profile areas, along with the development of Science Village along with the Faculty of Science. Last year also saw the start of the development of a number of large-scale initiatives such as the one on green transition together with Chalmers University of Technology and Uppsala University, as well as a new strategy for first and second-cycle education. These, among other things, will be our focus during 2024.” 

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“The challenging thing at times of high costs is prioritising correctly, we need to continue to develop the organisation while taking responsibility for the cost situation. We hope that our recruitment strategy will help us recruit frugally in terms of numbers, but with an international profile. A major challenge for the faculty is the high level of externally-funded research which demands co-funding, something that is difficult when only a small proportion of the faculty’s budget goes to research.”

 What do you enjoy most about being dean? 

“The best part about being a dean is, above all, the capable colleagues within the faculty, the University and among collaboration partners and partners in external engagement who I have the privilege of meeting and working with. What I enjoy most is getting to develop an organisation along with others! And that the variety in work duties is so great that no two days at work are the same!”

 

 

Sanimir Resić, Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts, second term of office

a man with a beard. Photo
Sanimir Resic. Photo: Kennet Ruona

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean?

“The new term of office will be my second as dean. This means a lot of continuity, but also new challenges and adventures. As dean, I will begin by appointing a vice dean for campus development. The largest project in the Faculty’s history – colocation – is in great need of operational reinforcement. Another task for faculty management is welcoming a new faculty board.”  

All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“Our biggest challenge is the colocation of the Academy of Music, the Malmö Theatre Academy and the Malmö Art Academy in Malmö’s Varvstaden district. We are building new premises, and at the same time gathering all of the faculty’s dispersed operations onto a cohesive Lund University campus is a city other than Lund. At the same time, it is important to reduce the psychological significance of the twenty or so kilometres between Lund and Malmö.” 

What do you enjoy most about being dean?

“In my view, the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts’ operations are among Lund University’s treasures. The quality of operations is at the highest level, nationally and internationally. As a humanist and historian, I have since taking office in 2021 often been surprised that this treasure of art and culture has not received more attention within the University. Fortunately, the University’s current management, led by the Vice-Chancellor shares my view, which has led to a mutually far more beneficial situation. The best part about being dean, however, is the Faculty’s students. I have never previously met such dedicated young people who so passionately invest their lives in their studies and own development within their art form. It is an honour for a humble dean to be able to contribute to their journey.” 

 

 

Maria Björkqvist, new dean at the Faculty of Medicine

A portrait photo of a woman. Photo
Maria Björkqvist. Photo: Kennet Ruona

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean?

 “Our new management group and I will be taking the time to try and get to know all the organisations within our large faculty. We hope to have the opportunity to visit all of our departments during the spring semester.”

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

 “For us, the high costs are largely related to high rents. That is why optimising our use of our premises will be a prioritised area. Another challenge is finding ways forward to further improve our competitiveness and create even better conditions for leading research and top-class education. A declining number of applications to several of our socially important programmes is a challenge we have been working on for many years, and this work must continue.”

 What do you enjoy most about being dean? 

 “It is being part of a team! I have the opportunity to work with very knowledgeable and interesting people, both within our organisation and within the organisation of our collaborative partner – healthcare. This work covers many different kinds of questions and no two days are alike. This is a unique opportunity to shift perspective to faculty and University level, and I learn something new every day.”

 


 

Johannes Persson, dean of the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, second term of office

a man with glasses. Photo
Johannes Persson. Photo: Johan Persson

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean? 

“At the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology, we have an incredible breadth of subjects, and we can become even better at collaborating across subject and faculty boundaries so that this breadth can bring benefits. For example, we should develop interdisciplinary programmes with a humanities and social science focus on AI without delay. For the same reason, I think we ought to expand our external engagement with business, and the public and third sectors. Strengthening spaces for external engagement is the first thing I will be working on.”

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“The perspectives of humanities and theology are becoming increasingly important, and the humanities in Sweden have a fairly strong international impact, compared to the global average. We need to continue to identify and highlight areas in which the humanities, on their own and along with other subjects, can be further strengthened. However, developments in language in particular require increased funding – for both education and research – in order to meet the needs that are emerging. Tackling this is our greatest challenge.”

 What do you enjoy most about being dean?

“Meeting and working with so many fantastic people on a daily basis, and reflecting on so many things that almost always seem highly relevant, since it is in the character of universities to serve as such nodes. That is one great privilege of being a dean and is the most enjoyable.”

 

 

Agnes Andersson, new dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences

a woman in front of some greenery. Photo
Agnes Andersson. Photo: Jessica Björck­

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean?


“Getting to grips with the organisation as a whole, and setting out the working methods for the coming term of office along with the new faculty management and the new heads of department. As pro dean, I have been responsible for first and second-cycle education and internationalisation. I have also worked closely with my predecessor on our two major projects: the organisation project, aimed at reducing the number of units, and the campus development project, but now I have overall responsibility which I haven’t had before. I am also looking forward to supporting the development of our new Methods Centre and continuing the internationalisation work that we started during the previous term of office.” 

All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“Our greatest challenge is indirectly linked to the cost situation and concerns the undermining of the price tag for first and second-cycle studies. Maintaining the quality of first and second-cycle studies has long been challenging, but several departments indicated even last year that a critical limit has been reached when it comes to teaching and contact time with students.” 

What do you enjoy most about being dean?

“Internally, it is finding ways to develop the organisation with faculty and departmental management. In relation to LU as a whole, it is investigating the opportunities that the University’s breadth provides for cross-faculty collaborations. Externally, it is highlighting the significance of how sociological and behavioural research and education contribute to societal development and meeting challenges in society.” 

 

 

Henrik Wenander, new dean of the Faculty of Law

a man with glasses. photo
Henrik Wenander. Photo: Kennet Ruona

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean?

“I have started reviewing the way the management group and our internal communication work. Clear decision-making processes and access to information about what is happening are important so that the collegial leadership at the faculty actually works in practice. There are good structures to build on, put in place by previous faculty managements, but certain adjustments are needed.”

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“The Faculty of Law has grown significantly in recent years in terms of the number of employees. This is pleasing, but it also brings challenges. As well as decision-making processes and internal communication, there is a challenge in establishing a shared view on the Faculty’s focus and organisation so that we can deal with the financial situation in a positive way. A further challenge is present in developing the Faculty’s teaching and research so that they remain relevant in relation to contemporary issues such as technological developments, the climate threat and the unstable global situation.”

 What do you enjoy most about being dean?

“Gaining an insight into Lund University’s broad operations and contributing to the development of the Faculty and the University.”

 

 

Joakim Gullstrand, new dean of the School of Economics and Management

a man with a white shirt and a vest. Photo
Joakim Gullstrand. Photo: Charlotte Carlberg Bärg

What’s the first thing you’re going to get work on as dean?

“As the new dean of the School of Economics and Management, I am both enthusiastic and aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. That’s why I think it will be particularly important to focus on consolidating and reinforcing our cohesiveness, above all because our cohesion makes for a rewarding and happy workplace. That is something I feel is fundamental to encouraging inquisitiveness, creativity and innovation.”

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“It is no secret that the recent cost increases are a challenge for everyone, including the School of Economics and Management. Without being naive, I do hope to be able to exploit this as an opportunity, rather than an insurmountable hurdle. By increasing cooperation and strengthening our cohesiveness, I think we will be able to succeed in becoming more efficient and find new ways of working. I am convinced that creative solutions and cooperation are the best way forward to overcome the financial challenges, without compromising on the quality of our education, research and external engagement.”

What do you enjoy most about being dean?

 “Even if I’ve only been dean for a couple of weeks, I have already seen that it is a role filled with responsibility, but above all it gives me a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in the work my colleagues do, be that in education, research, external engagement or administration. It is undoubtedly a great privilege and it feels meaningful to get this opportunity to gain a better understanding of teaching methods and research work.”

 

 

Per Persson, new dean of the Faculty of Science

a man outside a building. photo
Per Persson. Photo: Johan Joelsson

What’s the first thing you will be working on as dean?

“A lot of things are new to me and my colleagues in the faculty management, which is why I, and they, are spending a lot of time together listening, learning and understanding every part of our faculty. In these early stages, I am prioritising the work of bringing together a cohesive management group.”

 All faculties are wrestling with high costs, but what other challenges await your faculty in the coming years?

“One major challenge is to create an overarching strategy and plan for how we are to use and adapt the faculty’s premises. I see this as a way of creating better conditions for our students, teaching staff and researchers. This also gives up great opportunities to strengthen our scientific identity.”

 What do you enjoy most about being dean?

“So far, it has been being part of all the exciting things that are happening in the Faculty and the University, and understanding how a dean can contribute to that. It is also great fun getting to know our faculty office and starting to work with them, along with our heads of department, fellow deans at other faculties and the University management.”

Tidningsomslag.

About LUM

The first edition of Lund University Magazine – LUM – was published 1968. Today, the magazine reaches all employees and also people outside the university. The magazine is published six times per year. Editor Jan Olsson.

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Jan Olsson


046-222 94 79

jan [dot] olsson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se

 

Minna Wallén-Widung

046-222 82 01


minna [dot] wallen-widung [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se