Omnibus prik

Department heads lack the time for academic management

Departments. The lack of time for academic management is one of the biggest problems facing the department heads," says Professor Torben M. Andersen.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Anders Trærup

"We’ve interviewed all the department heads and the goal of primarily working with academic management is not met in practice. It’s not part of their reality. Administration takes up most of their time. On the other hand, it is important for them to have academic legitimacy in the environments when it comes to acting as they now have to in those contexts. Many department heads also feel that they get boxed into a corner because their employees feel that some administrative solutions are not the right ones – and at the same time, it’s not actually the department head who makes the final decision . So there’s clearly some tension there."

How do they suggest the problem should be solved?

"Yes, that might also be one of the things that wasn’t completely thought through in connection with the reorganisation: What is the role of the department heads at relatively large departments? Of course, when they talk about academic management they’re not referring to a specific research project. It’s more about having the chance to define some academic frameworks that give their employees the chance to thrive."

Why can’t they do that today?

"The recurring answer is that they never get that far down the to-do list. I should also emphasise that this is closely linked to how affected the departments have been by the reorganisation, as there is still a big difference in the size of the departments."

Translated by Peter Lambourne