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Declaration of support — Thanks to Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist academic staff at the University of Copenhagen have had their position strengthened. Support their work by voting for 'Involve the Researchers!'
First, a bit of background: From 2014 to 2018, we both served as representatives for the academic staff on the UCPH board – the supreme governing body at the University of Copenhagen – and we both experienced first-hand how challenging it can be to promote the perspectives of academic staff members in a board with a majority of members from outside the university.
See all signatories at the bottom of the post.
OPINION ON THE UNIVERSITY POST
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With the Danish University Act of 2003, the management structure at Danish universities was professionalized, introducing university boards with a majority of external members from sectors outside the university. Since then, several reports have pointed out that involving employees is a prerequisite for academic freedom.
Earlier this year, a large nationwide survey from the Danish Council for Research and Innovation Policy showed that 70 percent of academic staff at Danish universities would like closer involvement in academic strategy, budgeting, and job postings. The council concluded that the university act from 2003 allows for employee participation, but this opportunity is not utilized at present at Danish universities.
And now, to the election itself: With Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist on the board, researcher involvement has been put firmly on the agenda. On behalf of the list “Involve the Researchers!” with members from across University of Copenhagen, they have worked hard to get the board and the rectorate to deliver on the plan for strengthened researcher involvement adopted in the spring of 2023. Through persistent and dedicated collaboration with other board members, it is the merit of Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist that the University of Copenhagen is now implementing faculty boards and other initiatives which will lead to strengthened positions for academic staff at the faculty and rectorate levels.
The ongoing administrative reform at UCPH is a huge task. Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist have followed the process closely and are familiar with the details. Therefore, it is crucial that they are given the opportunity to continue their work on the board in the upcoming term.
Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist have achieved something that we never did, and hence, we urge everyone to vote for “Involve the Researchers!”. Whether you’re a PhD student, postdoc, assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, Jesper Grodal and Pia Quist will represent you well on the board.