Election time at AU: What are we voting on?

You’ve probably noticed that something has happened at AU: Most of the corridors and cafeterias have been decorated – or simply plastered with – small posters in shades of green, orange and blue. It’s the candidates standing for election at AU you’re seeing on the posters. But what is the election about?

Graphics: Astrid Friis Reizte

What are we voting on?

At the AU election this year, students elect one of the two student representatives to sit on AU’s board. In addition, the students and staff elect representatives to the academic council at their faculty and the students also elect representatives to the board of studies at their department. The PhD students will also elect representatives to the PhD committee.    

How can you vote?    

Forget all about voting booths, pencils and long ballot papers. At AU, elections take place electronically. You can vote from Monday 9 November until Thursday 12 November at au.dk/valg.

Well – what are we voting for?    

Boards, faculties, departments – AU's organisation can be difficult to understand. So, we’ve made this diagram showing the various bodies where you have a vote and which level they are on in the organisation. Below you can read a description of the tasks that the different bodies undertake. You can also read our comprehensive guide to AU’s organization here.

Graphics: Astrid Reitzel.

The board    

The board is Aarhus University’s highest governing body. It safeguards the university’s interests as an institution of research and education. The board is responsible for setting the guidelines for the university’s organisation, long-term strategy and development. Each year, the board reviews and approves the university’s budget. The board also approves the university's strategy. 

The composition of the board

  • The board is comprised of 11 members, six of whom are external and five of whom are internal.
  • The internal members are elected by the university’s students and employees.
  • The students elect two members.
  • The academic staff elect two members.
  • Technical-administrative staff elect one member.

The current members of the Aarhus University Board

  • External board members: Connie Hedegaard (chair), Steen Riisgaard, Caroline Søeborg Ahlefeldt, Jørgen Carlsen, Astrid Söderbergh Widding and Jens Peter Christensen.
  • Internal members – employees: Anne Skorkjær Binderkrantz, Peter Balling and Uffe Pilegaard Larsen.
  • Internal members – students: Ditte Thomsen and Hanna-Louise Schou Nielsen.

The academic council

All Faculties have an academic council, except from the faculties NAT and TECH where The Academic Council serve both Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences for a transitional period until February 2021. Two new academic councils will be elected at this election.

The Academic Council ensures cooperation in academic matters, including internal distribution of grants and matters relating to research, talent development, education and knowledge exchange. It ensures continuous involvement of staff and students. 

The board of studies

All departments have a board of studies (Science and Technology has 16 departments but only three boards of study). The board of studies works in areas such as proposals for academic regulations for individual degree programmes, and the board ensures follow up of course evaluations. The board of studies also considers applications for dispensation from exams, advance approval of courses, studying abroad and much more.    

The PhD committee    

The PhD committee works in areas such as the PhD courses on offer and the evaluation of the supervision that the individual PhD student receives from his/her supervisor.   

This article was published first time in 2019 and updated November 2020

Translated by Lenore Messick