(Original Swedish post published 15 June.)
On Thursday the University Board held its last meeting of the semester. As always, the Vice-Chancellor started proceedings with a report on events since the previous meeting. The focus this time was on the international activities and networks in which the University participates, together with some trendspotting from the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s annual report.
The students on the University Board – three ordinary members and two alternates – are appointed by the students’ unions for one year at a time. We are proud in Uppsala of the organised student influence we have at all levels of the University, from department boards to the University Board, and in all other groupings that work for the good of our University. This year it is 50 years since the students knocked at the door of the University Board in the University Main Building and demanded to be represented on the Board. Vice-Chancellor Torgny Segerstedt (who led the University from 1955 to 1978) was the person who saw to it that the University got the broad student participation we see today. The June meeting marks the changeover in these positions on the Board, so this was the last meeting for the outgoing student members and the first for the incoming lot, who attended to learn the ropes. Thank you, Rozbe, Martin, Megha, Sofie and Felix, for your contributions this past year, and welcome, Carl, Therese, Sanne, Fredrik and Mathias! Fredrik Pettersson and Sanne Rönning were chosen as new members of the Staff Disciplinary Board and the Audit Committee.
Margaretha Edman Bojeus presented the Swedish National Audit Office’s audit plan. During the next operational year, the National Audit Office will look in particular at the change of financial management system and the introduction of Ladok3. They will also analyse the IT environment and examine in particular the relationship between the University and the holding company.
The University Board was also briefed on the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at the University and our personal data processing.
At the University Board’s June meeting, a decision is taken on the University’s operational plan for next year and the planning frameworks for the University’s research, education and other activities over the next three years. Uppsala University will continue to take a proactive and future-oriented approach. The basic appropriations for research are increasing, which enables the University to make new investments in more career development positions, a continuation of the visiting researcher programme and more doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences. The appropriations for education are also increasing. This will enable the University to start several new programmes in autumn 2019 – no less than seven Master’s programmes (Russian, Russian studies, digital humanities, medical imaging, innovative medicine and two programmes in the Faculty of Pharmacy), a new Master’s level engineering programme in industrial economics and a new Bachelor’s level engineering programme in medical technology.
The universities in Sweden cooperate on infrastructure for research, and the costs are rising. In principle, the disciplinary domains are expected to deal with this as far as possible. However, sometimes the projects are so big that the whole university has to contribute, for example to the running of Max IV in Lund, and FREIA, SNIC and SciLifeLab here in Uppsala. The costs of data storage are also increasing. The storage of research data is particularly important for ‘open data’ and to make data available to researchers all over the world. Other new items in the operational plan included long-term planning conditions for Campus Gotland, a rent equalisation model for when the University needs new buildings and consolidated allocations to the University Library. The operational plan will be published in full on uu.se and on the intranet (Medarbetarportalen) following adjustment.
The operational planning process actually carries on year round. It concerns overall priorities and the allocation of tasks and direct government funding to the disciplinary domains. The University continues to prioritise strategic work on quality, internationalisation, infrastructure and skills supply. The three-year perspective gives better and more stable planning conditions for all the University’s departments.
The University Board also received a report from the working group on a revision of the rules of procedure, before Johan Tysk and Annica Sundås Larsson concluded by presenting the project Development Plan 2050.
The meeting concluded with a lunch on the terrace of Carolina Rediviva and a guided tour of some of the treasures hidden away in the University Library. Now the University Board will take a break over the summer and resume its work in the autumn with a first meeting in September.