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New University management 2021-2026

Erik Renström and Lena Eskilsson. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

As of the new year, a new University management team will take over the helm. For the next term of office, 2021-2026, the University will be led by vice-chancellor Erik Renström and deputy vice-chancellor Lena Eskilsson, together with five pro vice-chancellors and the University director.

“The choice of pro vice-chancellors was based on identifying skilled academic leaders with a passion for their assignments. In addition, an important factor was to find a combination of academic backgrounds that enable us to well represent Lund University in all its breadth, to meet the challenges that await”, says Erik Renström.

Erik Renström has chosen the following five people as pro vice-chancellors with various areas of responsibility linked to the issues he wishes to raise. The formal decision on the appointment of the pro vice-chancellors is expected to be taken on 14 January 2021.

Here is a presentation of the entire new University management team:

Erik Renström. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Erik Renström


What is your professional background?

“I have been dean of the Faculty of Medicine since 2018. My background is in medicine and after qualifying as a physician I worked for a year in the cardiac intensive care unit in Borås. That experience aroused my interest in specialising in electrically active cells, so I started doing research at the University of Gothenburg. One thing led to another and my area of study became diabetes and insulin-producing cells. After completing my PhD, I moved to Skåne and Lund University in 1997, where I started working as a clinical assistant with a large element of clinical supervision of medical degree students. In 2006, I was offered a researcher position at the Swedish Research Council and started focusing on academia from then on. In 2009 I became a professor. One important experience has been my role as coordinator for the strategic research area Exodiab, which I held until 2018. That enabled me to really learn what works to generate a creative research environment and to start to develop external engagement with industry.”

How did you react when you were elected vice-chancellor?

“It was the final stage in a very long process, with repeated interviews, tests, recruitment consultants and consultations with the Electoral College, so when it was decided my only thought was “So, now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work”. The autumn has been intense with a large number of discussions with prominent colleagues at all faculties, alongside the work as dean of the Faculty of Medicine, which is more than a full-time job. The colleagues generously shared their experiences and thoughts about Lund University – for which I am very grateful.”

You highlight five Cs+Q, can you describe them?

“The five Cs + Q are based on the conversations I had with colleagues and are intended to powerfully formulate the direction I and my colleagues want Lund University to take. We want to see more Quality, Creativity, Communication, Courage, Campus and to refine the University’s Character. In various ways, this ambition involves our study programmes, research and not least external engagement with wider society.

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“It is a very loaded position in which you have to set your compass clearly to navigate through the myriad events and decisions that fill the day. You have to be deeply grounded in the University’s mission and spirit to get it right. At the same time, we have to change rapidly to be in step with our time, and I have perceived a widespread wish for the University management to make sure that this happens. It will be extremely important for deputy vice-chancellor Lena Eskilsson and I to have skilled pro vice-chancellors – and we do!”

Lena Eskilsson. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Lena Eskilsson

Deputy vice-chancellor

What is your professional background?

“I have a PhD in human geography and economic geography and since 2014 I have been employed at the Department of Service Management and Service Studies at Campus Helsingborg. I have been teaching and researching for many years and have held several management positions at Lund University: director of studies, vice dean and pro dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences. I have also been vice chair of the University’s Education Board in recent years and academic manager for Work Package 2 within EUGLOH.”

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“I felt proud, happy and honoured (along with some delight tinged with horror).”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“As deputy vice-chancellor, I will above all assist the vice-chancellor in various ways. I will also be in charge of the Education Board and involved in education issues, both nationally and internationally (including EUGLOH).”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“One major challenge is the breadth and decentralisation of the organisation, while this is also the University’s strength. There are great opportunities to continue working within the framework of the broad University. Another challenge is the development of digital teaching and learning environments. We have taken great steps forward in this area during the pandemic that we can learn from and continue to develop. A third challenge is LU’s continued development as an international university, not least in a European perspective with the development of a European education area.“


Kristina Eneroth. Photo: Adam Haglund/Apelöga.

Kristina Eneroth

Pro vice-chancellor for external engagement

What is your professional background?

“I have worked for a long time at the School of Economics and Management as a pro dean with special responsibility for international issues, education and external contacts. I have also worked outside the University as a strategic consultant and a recruitment consultant. I am associate professor in business administration specialised in strategy focusing on strategic leadership.”

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“I was pleasantly surprised, very humbled and full of expectations!”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“The significance of external engagement has continued to increase, and if we are to meet the global challenges we are currently facing, then we as a University must be able to jointly create new paths forward, both within the wider university context and with business and organisations. The concept of co-evolution, i.e. how development arises and can be jointly pursued, is a good summary of what I will be working on.”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“The task is complex and I want to start by listening in on all the fantastic work that is already being done within the organisation. It is important that we learn from one another internally within the University, and many have already made great progress with regard to external engagement. It is about enabling those who are already well on the way to continue developing with high quality, while providing inspiration to those who need to get going!“

Jimmie Kristensson. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Jimmie Kristensson

Pro vice-chancellor for communication, integrity and character

What is your professional background?

“I trained as a nurse and have studied journalism. My first job at the University was actually on the magazine, LUM. I am a senior lecturer and associate professor in health sciences and have also been programme manager for the nursing degree programme. Over the past three years, I have held the position of vice dean responsible for employeeship and ethics at the Faculty of Medicine.“

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“To be honest, it was a bit of a shock. I feel happy, proud and honoured but also humble and quite nervous.”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“I will be working on issues that concern the University’s communication, integrity and character. This includes things like internal communication, but also issues that deal with the work environment, leadership, gender equality and equal opportunities.”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“This is a new role that was not clearly defined in earlier University management teams. This enables me to see many opportunities but also potential challenges. I will start by getting properly acquainted with the issues and listening to what employees and students think is particularly important. Then we’ll take it from there.”

Per Mickwitz. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Per Mickwitz

Pro vice-chancellor for research, sustainability and campus development

What is your professional background?

“Until 2019, I was living and working in Finland. I spent most of my career so far working at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), a public research institute, starting as a researcher and ending as research director. During the past two years, I have been living in Lund and working as a professor and director of the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE). My research has dealt with environmental and sustainability policy, how politics can be evaluated, how innovations occur and in particular how sustainability transitions can be enhanced. I am currently also vice chair of the Academy of Finland (the Finnish equivalent of the Swedish Research Council).”

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“I was very happy to be asked whether I would consider taking on the role of pro vice-chancellor for research. I appreciate that someone at the IIIEE was asked and I see it as a sign that interdisciplinarity and sustainability are considered important. I also think that it is nice to be entrusted with the role despite not having been at Lund University for very long. Personally, I was also pretty stoked because Lund University is an institution I am keen to work for and because I am a curious person who likes to accept new challenges.”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“One important issue for the research community at all levels is to (further) raise the quality of research. In practical terms, this is largely about how we make the most of the results of RQ20, but it is also about things like research ethics, open science, campus development and research infrastructures. One of Lund University’s great strengths is its breadth, but I think we could get better at utilising it. Society expects new knowledge and trained individuals to tackle major challenges, from the Covid-19 pandemic to the existential sustainability challenges.”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“I believe it is important for us to get better at highlighting the fine research that is done at Lund University, both externally and internally. We should all be familiar with at least one example of exciting research at each faculty, not only our own. Research-based knowledge is currently challenged both by direct untruths (fake news) and by knowledge produced by others. We must further improve our processes and make them more transparent (e.g. open science and research ethics). I also hope to be able to contribute to increasing acceptance of, and pride in, many different types of research at Lund University and in society at large.”

Ann-Kristin Wallengren.

Ann-Kristin Wallengren

Pro vice-chancellor for education  

What is your professional background?

“I am professor of film studies at the Centre for Languages and Literature and I have taught film studies since the early 90s. For several years, I worked as director of studies and have subsequently worked as assistant head of department. Over the past three years, I have been pro dean at the Faculties of Humanities and Theology. My research specialises in film music (and experimental methods), issues of national and cultural identity, ideology and transnational film relations, celebrity research and film stars.

For several years I had assignments in review panels at the Swedish Research Council. I have been a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle and a visiting researcher at the University of Southampton, in the UK.”

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“When Erik Renström asked whether I wanted to be pro vice-chancellor for education, I was very surprised. My plans for the future were completely different. But it was difficult to resist the challenge and stimulus I see in this assignment and having thought it through, I happily accepted. I look forward to working together with the new management team.”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“I will be involved in responsibilities for education, but that is a vast and comprehensive field and contains a number of sub-areas. Over the next few days, the management will be discussing which parts we will take specific responsibility for. Within the area of education, I will mainly be collaborating with the deputy vice-chancellor and the pro vice-chancellor responsible for external engagement.”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“Primarily, I want to try as far as possible to support teaching staff, students at all levels and other employees in the tasks and developments the future has in store for us. These must constantly be balanced against the needs and conditions of the University’s core activities. Then there are specific issues I would particularly like to work on, such as the broad university, pedagogical methods in the wide sense and the qualification value of teaching activities.”

Viktor Öwall. Photo: Charlotte Carlberg-Bärg.

Viktor Öwall

Pro vice-chancellor for infrastructure and digitisation

What is your professional background?

“I have been dean of the Faculty of Engineering (LTH) from 2015 to 2020. Before that, I was head of department, assistant head of department and director of studies at the Department of Electrical and Information Technology, EIT. I completed my PhD in 1994 in the field of electronics construction and was a postdoc at the University of California, Los Angeles between 1995 and 1996. In 2010 I became a professor and have taught at all levels and supervised 14 doctoral students as far as their PhDs.”

How did you react when you were asked to accept this assignment?

“I feel very honoured to be entrusted with this role and I feel that I want to contribute to developing Lund University. I got to know Erik Renström as a fellow dean and I am looking forward to working with him.”

What issues will you be working on and responsible for during your term of office?

“I will be responsible for infrastructure and digitisation, but the details are not yet determined. During my period as dean, I was passionate about digitisation, LU’s establishment in Science Village and campus development. I hope that I will be able to continue contributing to these issues in some way.”

What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in your new role?

“I see digitisation in all areas as a crucial issue. Here, the University must focus and ensure it is on the cutting edge, which it is not at the moment. We have managed during the pandemic, but we are not where we should be. Financing research infrastructure is something that many people struggle with. We need to get better at collaborating on these issues. During my time as dean, the faculties of medicine, science and engineering moved several steps forward on collaboration, but there is plenty left to do.”

Susanne Kristensson. Photo: Kennet Ruona.

Susanne Kristensson

University director

University director Susanne Kristensson reports to the vice-chancellor concerning the University’s administration and finances, as well as for tasks relating to the University’s central administration units.

Susanne Kristensson has a legal background and previously worked on the UN human rights council and for the regional police in Skåne. She worked at Lund University as a legal counsel and eventually as its head legal counsel. She has been University director since 2012.
“I look forward to working together with the new management group and its issues.” 

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