News from the University Management 31 March
On the management’s agenda
Prioritisation based on the strategic plan
The management has presented a proposal to the vice-chancellor’s management council with a number of points they wish to prioritise on the basis of the strategic plan. These prioritisations are then to be integrated in the planning of operations and allocation of resources for 2018. Part of next year’s additional research funding from the government is to go towards special initiatives. “I will return to the question of prioritisations and allocation of resources for next year”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog. The management is also discussing how to deal with the University’s large public agency capital. “One can see it as positive that our finances are solid but we need to find a system which ensures that resources are utilised rather than accumulated. How such a system should be set up and function is currently being discussed but I think it requires a shared responsibility for risk-taking within the organisation. If we share responsibility, each individual research team will not have to save up for fear of hard times ahead”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
University of Nottingham – our first strategic partnership
In mid-March, representatives of LU and the University of Nottingham met to discuss how to develop the strategic partnership between the two universities. The partnership agreement is to be signed during the annual U21 meeting which will take place in Nottingham in May. Besides research, there are several other shared areas of interest such as diversity, quality assurance, financing of infrastructure and laboratories and LU’s contract education. “I believe strongly that sharing and exchanging expertise in these areas will further deepen the relationship between our two universities which will be crucial once Brexit is finalised”, writes Eva Wiberg in her blog. Read more on the deputy vice-chancellor’s blog
New digitisation and culture strategy underway
A digitisation strategy and a culture strategy are currently being drawn up and will complement the general strategic plan. The digitisation strategy takes a comprehensive approach to digitisation, in everything from e-learning to research and administrative systems. The culture strategy deals with how LU is to safeguard all the artistic and cultural expertise within the organisation. “There are cultural activities within several faculties and at the cultural and public centres. The strategy has been produced on assignment from the management and aims to ensure that we exploit the University’s entire breadth of activities ourselves (by cooperating internally in the LU Culture Forum) and that we develop our engagement with wider society (by cooperating externally in the Swedish Arts Council)”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog.
Study advice for new arrivals is the right path into the labour market
“We often talk about the University’s role in solving major societal challenges. These are big words that can easily sound pompous. But we actually can make a difference in many ways, both within research and education, but also in external engagement”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz in his blog. One example is NYAK – New Academics, whose goal is to make the most of the knowledge brought in with new arrivals, by ensuring that they find the right path into the labour market with LU as one of the contributing parties.
Visit to Lund by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
On 24 March the Croatian President Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović visited Lund University. The visit began at the Max IV followed by a meeting with Vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz. The president and her advisors were given a presentation about Lund University and an informal discussion then followed. Before the president’s lecture in the university main hall she was presented by the Deputy Dean of Humanities and Theology, Sanimir Resic, who was born in Croatia. Read more on the deputy vice-chancellor’s blog
ERC grants prove that we conduct top-level research
Over ten years, the ERC has awarded a total of EUR 11 billion in research grants. “Out of that total, EUR 367 million have gone to Sweden and EUR 77 million to Lund University. That is a fantastic yield for us!” writes the vice-chancellor is his blog. The Horizon 2020 grants are also increasing. LU has received the largest grant of all Swedish higher education institutions and the spread has been good, with grants going to five different faculties. “All over the world, ERC grants are seen as a sign of research excellence – both for the individual researcher who receives them and for the host university”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
Equal opportunities for men and women should start early on in their careers
Lund University has set the goal of having 40 per cent women among newly appointed professors by 2020 (compared to 27 per cent in 2015). “Some people interpret this as meaning that we will have female quotas; it is not about that but rather about seeing what obstacles impede women from making a career in academia and removing them. It is about determining whether there are structures within academia which benefit men, such as a tendency to see expertise in one’s male networks and in one’s own gender, which in itself creates an upward spiral for men who are already in the majority”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz in his blog. He points out that one cannot only examine the formal structure in a workplace as a measure of gender equality, but that one must also consider the informal structures. “The work of creating equal opportunities for men and women cannot begin at the point of promotion to a professorship, but must start much earlier on the career path. We therefore also need to review whether the career paths need to be adapted to suit both men and women”, writes the vice-chancellor.
Recruitment of new deputy vice-chancellor underway
Since the current deputy vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg has been put forward for appointment as the new vice-chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, Lund University is looking for a new deputy vice-chancellor as of 1 July 2017. Between 22 March 2017 and 17 April 2017, all employees and students have the chance to nominate a candidate for the position of deputy vice-chancellor. The candidate must have been consulted and be willing to be nominated. Read more on the Staff Pages
New book about the University and wider society
The jubilee book “Beredd till bådadera. Lunds universitet och omvärlden” (“Prepared for both. Lund University and the surrounding world”) has now been published in Swedish with an English version plannes for later in the spring The book contains nine historical studies about subjects ranging from research collaboration and international contacts to witty LU academics on the television show “Ask Lund” and members of the general public who want to donate their bodies to science. When Lund University celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1968, a comprehensive history of the University in four volumes was written. For the current 350th anniversary, it was decided that an anthology of in-depth historical studies in selected fields would be produced. “Prepared for both” makes some incursions into the distant past, but focuses mainly on the past fifty years. The book also aspired to capture something of the interplay between the University and the surrounding world. This work is not to be confused with the jubilee book “Lund University over 350 years – History and Stories”, which is a popular science overview of the whole of the University’s history.
Film festival focusing on human rights
Starting on 31 March, there will be three days of films on the theme of human rights. The film festival is organised by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and will take place in both Lund and Stockholm. After each film, there will be a question and answer session or panel discussion with either the director or experts in the relevant field. Read more on the LU web page
Higher education news
Protection of research findings to be investigated
“Recently, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, minister for higher education and research, decided to appoint an investigator to conduct an overview of the protection afforded to research findings. The review aims to determine whether this protection needs to be reinforced in order to remove obstacles to innovations”, writes the Government on its website. The basic principle is that research findings financed with public money are to be available to other researchers and to the general public. At the same time, there are risks, for example that premature publication can be an obstacle to innovation and the chance to patent inventions. The Government therefore considers it important to find a balance between the need for accessibility and protection of research findings and innovative ideas.
Major differences on the path to associate professorship
The differences between higher education institutions are great when it comes to the path to associate professorship, according to a report in the Swedish online research magazine Curie. There are currently no national guidelines, although the title indicates a higher level of research expertise than a PhD alone and presumes research independence, as well as both broader and deeper knowledge of the relevant field. Associate professorships can require research publications corresponding to one, two or three doctoral theses depending on the higher education institution.