(Original Swedish post published 15 December, English version published 16 December.)
On Tuesday the University Board convened at Scandic Hotel for its last meeting before the holidays. As usual, the meeting began with the Vice-Chancellor’s monthly report (pdf, in Swedish). The December report was mainly about the government’s research bill.
The meeting also gave the University Board an opportunity to go through the University’s risk analysis, which we have worked on in various constellations in the Management Council during the autumn. We also had a preliminary discussion on the University’s budget input – the points we want to bring to the government’s attention and that we want them to take into account when they draw up the government budget in coming years. As the government has just presented its research bill, which focuses on research issues, it is only natural that our budget input now emphasises education issues. One issue under discussion is increased resources for basic (undergraduate) education, where we would like more places to be available and higher compensation levels. In recent years, the humanities, social sciences, theology and law have benefited from quality increases but now it’s high time that laboratory-based programmes also received a boost. We had a good discussion. Both the risk analysis and the discussion on the budget input are preparation for the University Board meeting in February, when the budget input and the annual report have to be finalised and sent to the government.
One important decision was that the University Board gave me a mandate to begin a review of the University’s Rules of Procedure. This document describes the responsibilities and roles of all the different parts of the University and work procedures at the University. For example: What decisions does a faculty board take? What are the responsibilities of a dean? How do we appoint heads of department, deans and vice-rectors at the University? The current Rules of Procedure are beginning to show their age. A year or so ago Kåre Bremer’s management inquiry addressed a number of issues that are now up for discussion. The consultation responses on the procedure for appointing a Vice-Chancellor also highlighted various issues that the review may address. It is important that the process is allowed to take time, that the entire University can get involved – students, teachers, researchers and other employees. I will have more to say about this in the new year.
I myself was not present for one of the main items on the day’s agenda. This item concerned procedures for appointing a vice-chancellor. I informed the University Board back in October that I am available for a further period if this is what the University wants. But the most important thing is to have good procedures and I hope that Tuesday’s decision will make that possible. The final wording will soon be published on the University’s website.
The University Board is also the governing board of Uppsala University’s Foundations Management. Kent Berg from Uppsala University Foundations Management of Estates and Funds gave a thorough presentation of the arrangements and routines for managing 601 foundations. Every year, the foundations contribute more than SEK 220 million towards the University’s activities. The money goes to research, PhD students, scholarships, premises, pensions and much more besides. Moreover, the foundations pay for our historic environments, gardens, music, museums and academic ceremonies. They make it possible for the University to do many things that we would otherwise not have been able to do. So now and then we should spare a grateful thought for King Gustav II Adolf and our other donors.