Umeå Arts Campus at Umeå University.
Photo: Mikael Lundgren
Umeå Arts Campus at Umeå University consists of the Umeå School of Architecture, Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Bildmuseet, Humlab-X, Sliperiet and part of the University Library. There is currently no joint organisation for these schools and units, instead they are organised under different faculties, and in some cases under the Vice-Chancellor's Office.
Peter Honeth, former state secretary at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, has been assigned the task of drawing up a proposal for a suitable organisation. This week he has presented his preliminary proposal to the affected management teams, labour unions and student organisations.
"I've had several meetings with the affected parties during the course of the investigation. At the last meetings that took place this week, I received valuable opinions and reflections that I'll take into consideration in the finalisation of the report. In my opinion, the work has been greeted positively and with a desire to develop the artistic profile of Umeå University," says Peter Honeth.
In the presentation, he stated that there are good opportunities for coordination and the national profile could be put to better use. Certain units housed at Umeå Arts Campus are very successful, while others have challenges they struggle with. Today, their visibility to the general public and collaboration with the University is limited in some ways. Their distinctive artistic emphasis is not always taken advantage of, and there is a limited amount of research and few doctoral programmes. The various schools and units are administratively vulnerable and the use of the premises is irrational in some cases.
Peter Honeth suggests that the three schools for architecture, design and fine arts should be put together with Bildmuseet and the Department of Creative Studies under the Faculty of Arts, with a steering committee governed by a vice-dean. This is in order to increase collaboration between the various parts of the organisation at Umeå Arts Campus, as well as to accentuate the artistic profile.
Beside the aim of tying the schools and units closer to one another in the organisation, the investigation also suggests that the University should earmark funds for the development of research and doctoral education in the arts.
For Sliperiet and the University Library at Umeå Arts Campus, there are no suggested changes, whereas the current proposal is to shut down Humlab-X. Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, which is the smallest department at Umeå University and which has been struggling to resolve some issues recently, needs a fresh start with a clearer profile and specialisation, according to Peter Honeth.
Peter Honeth will now finalise his report based upon the comments that were made in conjunction with the presentation. The report will be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor at the end of April. The proposal will then be further processed within the University in dialogue with the affected parties. The idea is for the University Board to reach a decision about any potential changes in the autumn of 2018.
"The arts are important to Umeå University. I'm looking forward to Honeth's report and hope that the continued work based upon his proposals will pave the way for better conditions for the schools and units to develop their distinctive artistic profile, both nationally and internationally. We also hope to reduce the administrative vulnerability and make better and more efficient use of the premises," says Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson.
The main outlines of the proposal:
- The Umeå Institute of Design, Umeå Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå School of Architecture, the Department of Creative Studies and Bildmuseet should fall under the Faculty of Arts as individual departments, governed jointly by a steering committee and a vice-dean.
- The current Sliperiet should maintain its organisational position under the University Management.
- Humlab-X should be shut down a separate operational unit (which is now separated from Humlab at Campus Umeå) and the premises should be transferred to Sliperiet or the University Library at Umeå Arts Campus.
- The University Library at Umeå Arts Campus should remain a part of the University Library.
- Research and doctoral education at Umeå Arts Campus should be developed jointly.
- Doctoral education in the arts should be developed with the ambition of obtaining degree-awarding powers for doctoral educations in the arts.
- University funds should be earmarked for the development of doctoral education in the arts.
The investigation should be finalised and delivered to the University by next week.
For more information, please contact:
Deputy Head of the Planning Office,
the Planning Office
+46 73-672 99 11