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If politicians do not put a stop to the »extreme top-down management« at universities, Danish research will suffer damage that it will take decades to rectify. The stark warning is from Ole Wæver and several of his colleagues who now present six proposals to reverse the downward spiral.
Olaf Nielsen and Annette Lassen represent different subject areas, but they share the same gloomy conclusion about decision-making at the University of Copenhagen: A myopic focus on economy and a disregard for the issues concerning the average researcher has placed academia under pressure.
The Student Council’s top candidate, Olivia Boesen, wants to ensure that the board dedicates resources to help students deal with stress and loneliness.
Thomas Mandrup-Poulsen and Henrik Kragh Sørensen will work towards creating a forum, where researchers and educators can unite in addressing the administration. They are also very critical of the fact that several smaller degree programmes have been shut down.
»It feels like the decision-makers don’t know what they’re doing,« says Eske Willerslev and Jesper Grodal. They are running for seats on the board of The University of Copenhagen for more co-determination.
Laboratory technician Dorte Brix wants to make sure that the administrative personnel are not made invisible at the university: »I think a lot of people are walking around feeling bad.«
Professor of physiology, Flemming Dela, calls for a board that is more visible in the public conversation, less concerned with politics, and more concerned with gaining the trust of researchers and faculty members.
The University of Copenhagen was more complicated and far more time-consuming to manage than the Chairman of the Board Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen had ever imagined. It is the arm wrestling with the politicians that has been the most demanding, he says in this retrospective.