“More freedom to act and less bureaucracy”

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Same procedure as last year...? No, because unlike Miss Sophie in Dinner for One, AU doesn’t turn 90 every year. Omnibus is celebrating the university’s 90th with a series of short interviews with employees about their relationship to the university.

2018.09.24 | Marie Groth Andersen

Benny Andersen is pretty enthusiastic about Henning Larsen’s Herning campus, which feels bright and inviting even on a overcast day. Photo: Ida Marie Jensen.

AU’s 90th

  • “In the hope that that the scientific and scholarly research which shall take place here may take place in spirit and truth, I hereby inaugurate Aarhus University.”
  • King Christian X inaugurated the first university in Jutland with these words, on 11 September 1933. The very university where you work – or study: Aarhus University.
  • Omnibus is celebrating AU’s 90th birthday with a series of short interviews: we asked AU employees to answer three questions about their relationship to the university. And about their birthday wishes for the guest of honor.
  • Together with university historian Palle Lykke, we’ve also delved into the archives to find photos from the first nine decades at AU. They’re accompanied by a short text by Palle that illuminates the high points (and low points) documented by the photographer’s lens over the years.
  • And we’ve asked the photographers from AU Photo to revisit the same spots to show you what they look like today. The anniversary series ‘AU’s 90th’ will run throughout the autumn.

Benny Andersen, Head of maintenance and facilities at Aarhus BSS, Herning Campus, since 1995. Heads a team of 12 employees.

Why are you still here?

Because it’s a good place to work – I have an exciting job. I’ve been here since 1995 at what was called the the Institute of Business and Technology (HIH) back then, and back then the boundaries between job categories weren’t as sharp. Aage Erhardtsen, the rector at the time, believed that it was equally important whether you wrote on the blackboards or kept them clean, and that gave solidarity and a sense of community. It’s kind of unique in relation to what you experience at AU in Aarhus, where it appears that there’s a greater divide between the people in operations and service and the academics.”

What’s your favorite spot at AU?

“Without a doubt, the University Park is a fantastic place. I come to meetings in Aarhus regularly and I like to walk through the park when I can. For a couple of years, I also helped manage the grounds crew, after my boss Eigil Jensen (former head of building services at Aarhus BSS, now retired, ed.) took over responsibility for the department. It makes me happy to see how beautifully the gardeners are maintaining the park, which is a unique place in downtown Aarhus. Henning Larsen’s buildings here in Herning are definitely also a great place to be. They’re open and bright, which is incredibly nice in the dark months.”

What is your birthday wish for AU?

“My wish is that the guest of honour will work for more freedom to act, less centralisation and bureaucracy. We have to watch out that these competent, committed personnel don’t loose their pleasure in their work and their desire to keep pulling together for a unique world-class university, located at the navel of the world – Jutland.”

AU’s 90th

  • “In the hope that that the scientific and scholarly research which shall take place here may take place in spirit and truth, I hereby inaugurate Aarhus University.”
  • King Christian X inaugurated the first university in Jutland with these words, on 11 September 1933. The very university where you work – or study: Aarhus University.
  • Omnibus is celebrating AU’s 90th birthday with a series of short interviews: we asked AU employees to answer three questions about their relationship to the university. And about their birthday wishes for the guest of honor.
  • Together with university historian Palle Lykke, we’ve also delved into the archives to find photos from the first nine decades at AU. They’re accompanied by a short text by Palle that illuminates the high points (and low points) documented by the photographer’s lens over the years.
  • And we’ve asked the photographers from AU Photo to revisit the same spots to show you what they look like today. The anniversary series ‘AU’s 90th’ will run throughout the autumn.
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