University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Lykke Friis to step down as prorector

Names — Prorector for Education Lykke Friis steps down after nine years at the University of Copenhagen. Lykke Friis has chosen not to seek an extension of her current contract, which will expire in August.

Lykke Friis will leave the University of Copenhagen this summer. Her contract expires on 31st July and she has chosen not to avail herself of the opportunity to have her employment extended by a further three years.

“After nine fantastic years at the University of Copenhagen, I have decided to move from my ‘Heimat’ and not extend my contract in August. It’s always been my philosophy, that you should not grow roots, but dare to let go. So this summer I will leave UCPH and throw myself into change,” Lykke Friis says in a UCPH press release.

Prorector for Education

The prorector’s initiatives have included improving the study environment – physical, psychosocial and digital – to a total allocation of DKK 70 million. Lykke Friis has also been responsible for improving students’ completion rates and for implementing the study progress reforms. Under her watch, the university also introduced a minimum grade requirement of 6 for students to be admitted, and introduced more feedback on the study programmes.

The University Post wrote up a portrait of Friis in 2009.

Lykke Friis has been prorector at the University of Copenhagen twice. First in the period 2006-2009.

Since then, she retook her position as Prorector for Education in August 2013 after a four-year period in government service as Minister for Climate and Energy.

Rector: Lykke has lifted UCPH impact

Rector Henrik C. Wegener notes in the press release that Lykke Friis’ successor will have some big shoes to fill:

“Lykke has done a large and skilful effort for the University of Copenhagen and she has lifted our visibility and political impact. This is not just true for the University of Copenhagen, but for the whole sector. But I do understand that, after nine years as prorector, Lykke is looking for new challenges, and I wish her all the best,” says Rector Henrik C. Wegener.

Formally, the Board of the University is responsible for the appointment of a future prorector. This work will start immediately.

Frue Plads offices with no prorectors

On 1st March this year, the other prorector Thomas Bjørnholm left his spot in management in favour of a position as research director at the Villum Foundation.

To the University Post question on how far the Board has got in the process of finding Bjørnholm’s successor, management has no comment.

Deputy Director for Communications Jasper Steen Winkel says that the University Board is free to put together its management team in a range that spans from zero prorectors to several. The same applies to which portfolios the prorectors should have. There is nothing in the statutes on prorectors.

In February 2017, the University Post set up an overview of the management set-up that was available to the new rector Henrik C. Wegener.