“So much of a nerd that I would have trouble seeing myself anywhere but AU”

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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.

2018.10.08 | Marie Groth Andersen

The picnic table outside the department in Foulum is a plot where Jens Askov Jensen and his co-workers like to spend time during their breaks when the weather is good. 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.

Jens Askov Jensen, food technician at the Department of Food Science in Foulum. He has had the same position for 30 years, even though his department has changed names a number of times along the way. In 1988, it was known as the Department for Poultry and Rabbits under the National Institute of Animal Science. Later, it became part of the new Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, which merged with AU in 2007.

Why are you still here?

“Because it’s an exciting place to work. It’s always challenging, and there are always new tasks, so the work never becomes routine. And as time has gone by, I’ve become such a nerd that I would have trouble finding another workplace where my profile fits – and I have no desire to work anywhere else either. We have a good professional collaboration in my unit, and that means a lot. In 2019, the department will be moving to Aarhus, and it will be exciting to be part of the milieu that’s developing around Agro Food Park in Aarhus, with Arla’s innovation center and a lot of smaller food-related organisations. At one time, I moved from the Royal Agricultural University in Frederiksberg (neighborhood in Copenhagen, ed.) to Foulum, and it’s fine with me that my workplace is moving to Aarhus.

What’s your favorite spot at AU?

“That would have to be the department here in Foulum. As you can see, we’re spread out over a large area, and I discover new places out here, even after thirty years. In the summer, we often get together for lunch at a picnic table outside the department. It’s a cozy place where we like to take our breaks.”

What is your birthday wish for AU?

“For the university to develop and become stronger than it is today. The work processes at the top of the system were easier before we became subordinate to the university. There are more layers up to the top level of management, and that’s made it harder to get things done. At the same time, there’s a lot of competition between the universities in Denmark. I hope that AU does well in that competition – and maybe it would be better for all the parties involved if there was more cooperation between the universities and they worked together to apply for funding. In that way, maybe we would also be in a stronger position in relation to foreign universities.”

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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Revised 15.11.2018