And the winners are…
Three internal members continue on AU's board and are joined by two new faces. The election was once again characterised by a low turnout and many blank votes from students and members of academic staff.
One of the new members of the board is Team Leader Anna Louise Plaskett, who replaces Bertha P. Beck Mortensen as representative for the technical and administrative staff.
The students have also elected a new representative as one of the two student representatives on the board. Lieve Vermeulen replaces Andreas Birch Olsen, while Sarah Yde Junge continues for two more years.
There are fewer changes among the academic staff. Professor Susanne Bødker gets four more years on the board, while Associate Professor Søren Pold, who has been an acting member of the board since the summer when Peter Bugge resigned form the post, also continues.
Turnout at university elections at AU 2007-2015
2015: 20.7 per cent
2014: 18.1 per cent
2013: 19.8 per cent
2012: 13.8 per cent
2011: 18.9 per cent
2010: 21.6 per cent
2009: 13.8 per cent
2008: 15.9 per cent
2007: 14.8 per cent
We need coherence
Though Anna Louise Plaskett is elected to the board as a representative for the technical and administrative staff, she views herself as a representative for all employees at AU – both the academic and technical and administrative staff.
"I have good contacts in the technical and administrative staff club, with the joint union representatives from their organisations and I’m also open for input from the joint staff club. As team leader for PhD administration at Arts, I also regularly spend time at the departments and talk to many members of academic staff. I will use of these contacts to get feedback from the different environments."
Anna Louise Plaskett would like to focus on how decisions taken at the top affect employees on the ‘factory floor’ – not least how decisions taken at one place in the organisation also affect other places.
"If you have blinkers on and don’t look at the coherence with other areas, you lose cohesiveness and overall control. This is problem when, for instance, you make savings in one administrative division without worrying about how this affects the rest of the organisation and thinking about the tasks that are just shoved along to somewhere else in the system."
Stand up for AU’s talented graduates
Master’s degree student Lieve Vermeulen, who is the new student representative on the board, will use her platform to fight reforms such as the study progress reform and the degree programme resizing, which she believes dilute the quality of the study programmes.
She will also work for more positive publicity about the students. She thinks that a really good place to start that work is at the top in the university's supreme authority.
"The students are often referred to as apathetic and lazy, and that’s a discourse I would like to change. I would like to encourage the management to stand up for the talented graduates that AU produces, and also to be a bit more proactive here in the media."
Facts: Internal members of the AU Board as of 1 February 2016
• Anna Louise Plaskett, representative for the technical and administrative staff (new member of the board)
• Sarah Yde Junge, student representative (and member of the board since February 2015)
• Lieve Vermeulen, student representative (new member of the board)
• Susanne Bødker, representative for the academic staff (and member of the board since February 2012)
• Søren Pold, representative for the academic staff (and acting member since August 2015).
You can read more about the internal members of the AU Board at omnibus.au.dk/au-valg-2015
In addition to the election to the board, there were also elections for new representatives on the boards of studies, the academic councils and PhD committees – see all the election results at au.dk/valg.
Only a fifth voted
The internal members of the board must again this year recognise that they will not be working with a compelling mandate from fellow students and colleagues in the form of a high turnout. Even though the turnout this year was higher than in the elections in both 2013 and 2014, only 21 per cent of the eligible voters from among the students and employees took the opportunity to exercise their influence and decide who should represent them in the university's supreme authority.
Many blank votes
In this context it is also noteworthy that many of the students and members of academic staff who voted in the election chose to cast a blank vote. This was the case for 12 per cent of the students and almost 14 per cent of the academic staff.
According to the Student Council, one possible reason for this could be the size and placement of the vote blank button in the digital voting system, together with the fact that voters were not asked to confirm a blank vote, as they were when voting for a candidate or a list.
The development in voter turnout for eletions on AU over the last nine years:
Graphic: Astrid Reitzel
Translated by Peter Lambourne