High time to meet over topical subjects

22 April 2022

With the spring sun shining on our bustling campuses anew, we can finally meet in person again. The current online era is fantastic in many ways, with solutions that simplify everyday life and contributes to reduced travelling, but when it comes to some conversations, nothing can beat meeting eye-to-eye and it provides good abilities to listen to each other efficiently.

Something I've really looked forward to is to visit the many departments and units at Umeå University. Meeting colleagues and talking about challenges and opportunities is always rewarding. We also need to meet to talk about topical issues that are crucial for the University to develop in the desired direction.

Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor, Umeå University

Photo: Mattias Pettersson

Until the pandemic put an end to it, I regularly carried out department meetings together with the rest of the University Management. After two years, we're now ready to make a new start with over 50 meetings planned until early 2023.

We have chosen to make some adjustments to the setup of these meetings compared to previous years. One essential difference is that all staff at the department is now welcome to attend meetings, not just the department leadership. I hope this will contribute to an interesting and dynamic dialogue.

Another novelty is how the University Management will start each meeting by discussing some topical subjects. Consequently, we would love for departments to raise what issues are currently of interest to discuss with us. To further develop the University together, we need to leave room for conversations about both university-wide and department-specific issues.

In upcoming department meetings, the University Management has chosen three subjects of current interest to inform about and discuss. The University must be a place for work and study free from harassment and discrimination. The first subject on the agenda is therefore work environment and core values, which encompasses Umeå University's work against discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, and victimisation.

The second subject concerns outreach and collaboration strategies, as well as green transformation, propelled by the large-scale industrial developments in northern Sweden. This topic concerns the University's contributions when it comes to education and research, in which all disciplines and subjects are relevant to the ongoing societal transformation.

The third subject deals with Umeå University's work to identify our profile areas in research. The purpose is to prepare for an upcoming modification of the Government's allocation of funding and simultaneously develop the long-term strategic research work to strengthen the competitive edge and quality of research at Umeå University.

We have so far visited four departments and it has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable to meet in person again. I, and the rest of the University Management, look forward to many interesting discussions in our upcoming meetings with our departments and units.

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