Every term the University Board has an extended meeting away from Uppsala to provide an opportunity for a more in-depth discussion of strategic issues for the future. This time we travelled to Lund and yesterday we completed the more formal part of the meeting. As usual, I kicked off the meeting with the Vice-Chancellor’s report (in Swedish) on what’s happened since our last meeting and what’s going on at the University.
In recent weeks the procedure for appointing a Vice-Chancellor at Uppsala University has been discussed intensively both inside and outside the University. The issue has generated a lot of interest. While the debate has been about the procedure, it also impinges on the issue of the University’s autonomy and has become a matter of principle. I am impressed by the responsibility staff and students have shown by engaging with the issue.
After adjustment, the proposed procedure will be circulated in the University for comments – it will be sent out on Monday 31 October. I think it’s good that staff and students have a proper chance to express their opinions before the University Board takes a decision in December. Ahead of the meeting today, I asked the Board for a clarification in the proposal regarding the matter of extending the mandate of the Vice-Chancellor in office, and also informed the Board that I would be happy to continue as Vice-Chancellor for another three years – if this is what the University wants. The proposal is now available here (in Swedish).
At today’s meeting, Uppsala University Research Strategies was adopted. This document provides a picture of the current situation and a strategic direction for the future. With its breadth and multiple areas of strength, Uppsala University stands well equipped to face the future. We have the capability and the desire to conduct research that proceeds from both the challenges facing society and issues intrinsic to scholarly enquiry.
During the day, the University Board also had scope to discuss one of the issues I feel most strongly about – strategic skills provision. We want to be able to attract the very best researchers and teachers. That being so, it’s important that we can offer creative, stimulating research environments and good conditions. This autumn’s dialogues with the disciplinary domains will focus on this issue. We also found time to begin a discussion on the provision of premises in a longer-term perspective. These are important issues that we will come back to in various forums.
Today the Board will continue with discussions on infrastructure – an important future issue for our University. We will visit two facilities that are important for us – Max IV and ESS. Uppsala University is the largest user of Max IV. The Freia hall at Ångström is a test facility for ESS and Kristina Edström leads the international research school at ESS. Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor Joseph Nordgren will introduce today’s programme and give an overview of infrastructure at national level and our own internal work on this issue.