Newsletter 29-06-2016

 
 

Dear colleagues

The summer holidays are approaching, and throughout June it has been buzzing with examination activity around our campuses. This spring semester we are conducting nearly 33,000 exams, so people have really been working hard. The intense activity reflects how important our study programmes are to us. Therefore, we will continue our focus on creating attractive and viable quality programmes.

Fewer study boards next year

As of next year the number of study boards will be reduced from the current 14 to 5. There are several reasons for this:

An important part of our strategy is that we must have “Effective and binding cooperation across programmes and campuses to ensure the research basis and pedagogical quality of the programmes”. By bringing together our programmes in fewer study boards, we expect to be able to inspire, support and commit each other to develop the programmes academically and pedagogically across environments and campuses. In other words, fewer study boards shall ensure shared responsibility for our programmes and the highest common denominator in the quality assurance. Today, for example, we have five study boards for Economics and Business Administration. As of 1 January 2017 they will be merged into one study board, for which all the Economics and Business Administration environments and students may vote.

The study progress reform will also change the study boards’ tasks in the coming years. Due to the increased demands on the students’ activity and progress, we expect to receive far more applications for exemptions than previously. Here we need to ensure that the students’ applications are handled professionally and consistently across programmes and campuses. A consistent practice in our decisions, with more stringent requirements for when you can get an exemption, is also necessary if we are to succeed in reducing the average completion time and thus avoid a fine from the Ministry. The study progress reform thus requires a joint and coordinated effort, which is best ensured with fewer and larger study boards.

Fewer study boards, study board members and study board meetings will – all things being equal – also release additional resources for our core activites: Education, research and knowledge exchange.

Despite fewer and larger study boards, it is important that we maintain the proximity and local ownership of the programmes. Heads of department, heads of study and study board members are responsible for ensuring that the ideas and initiatives from the local environments are passed on to the study boards, and vice versa. The study boards must ensure the quality, but the development of our programmes stems from the academic environments.

The new structure also means that after the summer holiday we will look at the study boards’ need for administrative support. This will be done in cooperation with our administrative colleagues.

 

FACTS

As of 1 January 2017 there will be 5 study boards consisting of the following programmes:

  • Economics and Business Administration (all five campuses) MSc in Business Economics and Auditing (Odense and Kolding) and Professional BSc in Business Economics and Information Technology
  • Political Science, Journalism, European Studies and Sociology
  • Law and Business Administration and Commercial Law
  • Economics, Mathematics-Economics, MMA and Environmental and Resource Management
  • The Professional Master programmes and the diploma programmes

Elections for the new study boards will be held in November 2016.

 

Great success with external funding:

These past few months, several researchers from the Faculty have succeeded in taking home a number of major external grants.

  • Paul Sharp (Department of Business and Economics) received a Sapere Aude 2 grant of almost DKK 6 million from the Danish Council for Independent Research. This grant is given to researchers who have demonstrated ability for original research at a high international level
  • In May three of our researchers received Marie Curie funds: Dorte Gyrd-Hansen (Department of Business and Economics), Klaus Petersen (Political Science) and Kristin B. Munksgaard (Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management) together received more than DKK 10 million
  • Majbritt Evald (Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management) has received DKK 8,5 million on two grants from EU’s structural funds
  • Five research projects from the Faculty have recently received funds from The Danish Council for Independent Research / Social Sciences and Humanities: Birgit Feldtmann (Law), Christian Riis Flor (Department of Business and Economics), Dorthe Brogård Kristensen (Department of Marketing and Management), Lars Peter Østerdal (Department of Business and Economics) and Giovanni Mellace (Department of Business and Economics) are the grant recipients on the five projects, which amounts to more than DKK 20 million
  • In March, we have also received two individual postdoc grants from The Danish Council for Independent Research / Social Sciences to Niels Skovmand Rasmussen (Law) and Nina Broberg-Fazlic (Department of Business and Economics)
  • Finally, Mette Præst Knudsen (Department of Marketing and Management) just took home two large grants from The Danish Industry Foundation worth over DKK 7 million

Overall, these grants amount to almost DKK 55 million. This is very well done in a time when the competition has become tougher and the funds from the governmental research councils less. This proves to me that we can compete if we are determined and focused. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Research Support for their great efforts in supporting and motivating our researchers in this work.

Measures to reduce dropout rates are coming into effect!

The many local measure that have been initiated in the field of education in order to reduce dropout rates are beginning to work. The dropout rate among our 1st year students is currently at 12 percent compared to 16 percent at the same time last year. This equals 78 additional students. This is indeed a noticeable change!

Many short certified programmes in the pipeline

I am also pleased that the academic environments are currently working systematically in the field certified programmes. This is a key growth area in our strategy. Currently, there are nearly 25 different targeted proposals for courses. This bodes well for the future.

New Head of Department of Law

Finally, it is a great pleasure for me to inform you that Associate Professor Camilla Hørby Jensen takes up the position as the Head of Department at our Law Department. Camilla has been selected in a field of several strong candidates, and I am convinced that she is the right one to head the department in the coming years. Camilla is ambitious and visionary, and she is keen to contribute to developing the department and the Faculty in close collaboration with her colleagues both at the Department of Law and the other departments. Camilla has been employed here at SDU for more than 10 years and therefore has thorough knowledge of the University. I am looking forward to cooperating with her!

 

I wish you all a good and well-deserved summer holiday!

 

/Nikolaj