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Steen Harrit Jakobsen to become new head of staff at the Rector’s Office

Steen Harrit Jakobsen, who is currently head of the administrative centre at Health, will succeed Kirsten Jensen in the position of head of staff at the Rector’s Office. As agreed with the dean at Health, Jakobsen will take up the position on 1 April.

An appointment committee chaired by Rector Brian Bech Nielsen has selected Steen Harrit Jakobsen as the next head of staff at the Rector’s Office. Jakobsen’s career has given him considerable experience in the management and development of large organisations. For the past six years, he has been administrative centre manager at the Faculty of Health at Aarhus University, before which he served as a senior consultant at 4IMPROVE A/S, administrative head of the Center for Kvalitetsudvikling Arbejdsgange og Logistik in Central Denmark Region, and head of department and special consultant at the Ministry of Health.

“Steen Harrit Jakobsen has solid managerial ballast and organisational experience, and he has made a very positive impression on the appointment committee. We consider him to be the right person for the job as head of staff. We selected Steen Harrit Jakobsen on the background of a thorough recruitment process which – as I would like to emphasise and acknowledge – involved reviewing a large and well-qualified pool of applicants,” says Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.

Jakobsen is looking forward to exciting new work responsibilities at a workplace to which he has developed strong ties:

“I am looking forward to working with the overall strategic development of the university and the political agendas in the university sector. I’m extremely happy to be working at Aarhus University. It’s an exciting workplace and a fascinating world, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to contribute to the university’s development over the past six years. I am looking forward to continuing this work from a new platform.”

As administrative centre manager at Health since mid-2011, Jakobsen has spearheaded two major administrative reforms: the reorganisation of the administration which resulted from the academic development process, and the subsequent organisational adjustments decided by the senior management team on the background of the internal problem analysis in 2013-2014. Jakobsen also served as the administration’s representative in the expert panel the rector appointed to identify problems in the organisation during the problem analysis.

“The task of developing the administration so as to provide the best possible support for the academic environments is complex and constitutes a constant challenge, because the conditions for research and education are constantly being met by new requirements. Although this has been a demanding task at Health, I have been extremely privileged. As a manager, it’s not possible to accomplish anything alone. It takes good cooperation with highly competent employees and the rest of the management team, and I’ve had this privilege at Health,” says Jakobsen.

Originally, the plan was for Jakobsen to start his new job on 1 January, but by agreement with Dean Lars Bo Nielsen (Health) and current head of staff Kirsten Jensen, it has been decided to push back the date to 1 April.

“This will give Health a chance to find a new administrative centre manager and organise a smooth transition, both at the faculty and for the Rector’s Office staff. This is possible because Steen Harrit Jakobsen comes from our own ranks, and thanks to Kirsten Jensen’s willingness to continue in the position for another three months. I see this as quite a good solution,” explains Brian Bech Nielsen.

The background for Kirsten Jensen’s decision not to renew her contract as head of staff is her desire to take on new career challenges. From 1 April, Jensen will be handling strategic tasks for the senior management team, including strengthening business collaboration.