News from the University Management 5 September
On the management’s agenda
University Board’s nominating committee proposes deputy vice-chancellor
At a meeting with the Electoral College, the University Board’s nominating committee announced that, after careful deliberation, the committee has unanimously decided that Sylvia Schwaag Serger is the candidate that the Electoral College will assess. She is currently head of international strategy at Vinnova and adjunct professor at the School of Economics and Management. The Electoral College will now interview the candidate before the University Board makes its decision about who will be the new deputy vice-chancellor at the board meeting on 20 September. Read more on the staff pages
“No wish to deprive teaching staff of their rights”
“Many teaching staff members probably wonder, having read Sydsvenskan and Universitetsläraren and, not least, having received a letter from SACO, what decision I really took on the question of copyright” writes the vice-chancellor in his blog. He says that neither he nor the lawyers wish to restrict the copyright of teaching staff, but rather that it is about clarifying their rights. He therefore finds it unfortunate that the employee organisation presents the matter as the University depriving the teaching staff of their rights. “I don’t really believe that anyone would think it reasonable for a lecturer, who has produced material during working hours and been paid for it, should be able to prevent the University from continuing the study programme under particular circumstances”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz. He continues: “I hope that the teaching staff will notice that what we have now put down in writing in general recommendations both follows the practice that we have always applied and is in line with the rules in place at several other universities”.
Government decisions are good news for students
At the start of the semester there have been two pieces of good news from the Government, writes Torbjörn von Schantz in his blog. The first concerns the building of accommodation for students – Akademiska Hus plans 28 000 new accommodation places by 2026. “An excellent decision and the more regional/local initiatives being taken here are also welcome. Lund University has been a driving force in the housing issue, long before I became vice-chancellor, and that work is now beginning to produce results”, writes the vice-chancellor. However, there are still many people who have problems finding accommodation. The other news concerns the proposal in the budget bill that means students would receive an increase in the student grant of SEK 300 per month, if the bill is accepted. “I believe that both the housing issue and an increase in the student grant are initiatives that can also contribute to broadening participation – the subject of lively debate, not least this summer – as the Government has sent out the proposal, ‘Broad Participation in Higher Education’ and now the sector is to respond”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
“Research results are not to be censored”
The vice-chancellor writes in his blog about the pressure he sometimes feels from wider society regarding research results, often with a call to condemn the researcher in question and distance himself from their results or opinions. One example is an article from the summer about what measures can be taken by individuals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions – an article that was frequently debated in both social and traditional media. “There has been a heated debate, as can happen with research and results. This is as it should be. But, what makes me stop and think is when I hear from people who want me in my role as vice-chancellor to halt a study, remove it from a website or make a public statement that I do not support them”, writes the vice-chancellor and continues: “There seems to be a low level of knowledge about how a free university works. Free research is just that – free. A vice-chancellor does not decide what research will focus on and is not to have control over research or results. Censorship from a vice-chancellor, whether it be silencing a researcher or suppressing research findings, is completely out of the question”, writes the vice-chancellor and stresses the importance of standing up for free research and freedom of expression.
Workshops and information about The Conversation
Researchers who are interested in writing for The Conversation have the chance to learn more from 20 to 26 September when Miriam Frankel, editor of The Conversation, will be at Lund University. She will talk about how to pitch and write for The Conversation and meet individual researchers who want to start writing. Read more on the staff pages
New data protection regulation sets requirements for managing personal data
On 25 May 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The aim is to strengthen the right to a private life and adapt legislation in the area to the digital society. The new regulations both clarify and set higher demands on the University’s management of personal data. On 1 June, the University project “Management of Personal Data within Lund University” entered the implementation phase, which runs until the summer of 2018. The project’s purpose is to review structures and routines and adapt the organisation so that management of personal data within the University lives up to the requirements of the legislation.
The jubilee continues with science week and culture week
At the moment, we are in the science week focusing on The Amazing Brain, and culture week, Art in Time and Space, kicks off early on Wednesday and offers a multitude of activities next week. The week concludes with the major staff and student party at Lundagård. Read more on the LU website here and here
Higher education news
OECD review is not Pisa for higher education institutions
“The OECD’s pilot project for higher education is not the equivalent of Pisa surveys of schools says state secretary, Karin Röding, after the Government was criticised for not taking part in the review”, writes magazine, Universitetsläraren. In an opinion piece in the newspaper, DN, a representative for the Liberals wrote that they considered it incomprehensible that the Government chose not to be participate in the pilot project, “Higher Education System Performance”. Karin Röding considers that too few countries were involved and that Sweden is already taking part in the Bologna Process and the OECD project, “Education at a Glance”, which compares statistics concerning higher education.
Call to map researchers’ vulnerability
“Hate and threats to gender researchers and other power-critical researchers are considered to have increased in recent times. This is a major problem for democracy – and a serious work environment issue”, writes Maria Grönroos of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender research, in an opinion piece in the magazine, Tidningen Curie. She wants to see a broad mapping of researchers’ vulnerability at Swedish higher education institutions. The secretariat’s view is that threats are increasing. “The hate also has a gender perspective: women’s vulnerability in public is up to double that experienced by men and they are exposed to sexual and sexist violations to a far greater extent”, writes Maria Grönroos.