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The problem analysis leads to changes

At a staff meeting on Wednesday 22 October, Dean Allan Flyvbjerg made an announcement about the changes that will take effect at Health as a result of the internal problem analysis. At the same time, he initiated a process to discuss how the decisions will be implemented in practice.

The internal problem analysis was set in motion almost a year ago. On Wednesday afternoon a long awaited milestone was reached at a meeting for the faculty's employees in the Main Hall. The results following the senior management team's proposal and the subsequent consultation period were announced to the assembled employees.

"There has been considerable support for the overall direction in the management's proposal. The decision-making document therefore largely resembles the proposals, though it has been adjusted based on the consultation responses. All 168 consultation responses have been read and considered, so no one should imagine that we’ve only altered a couple of commas. There is much more behind this. Here we are only outlining the framework while the real work starts now as the decisions must be specified and implemented," said Dean Allan Flyvbjerg during the presentation.

Increased insight and dialogue will ensure influence

The process will now result in increased delegation of responsibility to vice-deans and department heads, particularly in relation to finances, appointments and dismissals. Finances and a lack of transparency have been particular sources of dissatisfaction in connection with the spring budget reductions and round of dismissals. Health has therefore adopted principles on full transparency in respect of the faculty's and the departments' revenue and expenses. The faculty will continue to function as a financial unit based on solidarity.

Another key point in the problem analysis is the inclusion of staff and students. In future, staff, students and PhD students will be more involved in the decision-making process via e.g. liaison forums and the academic council. Yet another result of the problem analysis is that the organisation of the faculty will also be reviewed, including both the departmental structure and the internal organisation of the departments.

When it comes to the area of communication, the current practice will be revised in collaboration with staff and students and there will in future be greater focus on also promoting the academic environments in the departments and centres.

The administration must still march in step

The greatest changes will take place in the area of administration. The previous 'front offices' will become administration centres with reference to the faculty's administration centre manager. 'Back office' will be renamed central administration and the administrative divisions will be reduced from nine to five. 

"We have received most consultation responses from the administrative staff and we have also seen the greatest concern here. They have told us of their fear of a lack of coherence across the administration and a loss of quality. We are very aware of the fact that the faculties must not become four isolated islands where each does things in their own way. It is absolutely necessary that we continue to work together across the organisation using common standards," underlined Allan Flyvbjerg.

Focus at Health will first and foremost be on getting the administrative tasks to function better with a strong focus on task solutions rather than focus on the physical location of the staff. If relocations are discussed then the employee and the division manager will be involved in any decision.

New temporary local liaison committee

The administrative staff’s reporting relationship will be changed with immediate effect, but the implementation of the remaining decisions made must first be discussed locally. A plan has been prepared for the ongoing process and the goal is that the majority of decisions should be finalised during the course of January 2015.

The audience therefore showed an interest in how the liaison committees will now function.

"The local liaison committee plays an important role in the process of staff inclusion. Due to the reorganisation, the current liaison committees will be abolished and replaced by temporary committees that reflect the new organisation. This will be completed in the coming weeks," said Allan Flyvbjerg.

The audience neither received the decisions with applause or the opposite. “We’ll have to wait and see” was the reaction from an employee when the dean asked how people felt about the changes.

The next steps in the process at Health are now beginning.

See the desicions and the timetable for the process.

Further information

Dean Allan Flyvbjerg, Aarhus University, Health
Mobile: +45 5177 9548