"I fear the list of problems is going to be very, very long"
The analysis panel, which consists of staff and student representatives, faces the task of prioritising the problems highlighted in the expert group’s report, before submitting their comments on the report to the senior management team.
Professor Jørn Flohr Nielsen is chairman of the analysis panel. He answers a preliminary question asking what the panel’s task actually is by observing that the panel has already completed its most important task which was create the mandate for the expert group together with the senior management team. He continues a little hesitantly:
"I must say that based on the information we have so far, the expert group has absolutely lived up to its broad mandate."
He stops again - and there is a sparkle in his eyes behind the glasses as he continues:
"We don’t have much specific information about the results yet. In fact, in the analysis panel we joke that the only thing we’ve heard from the expert group is that there appear to be some problems at Aarhus University …"
Problems in general?
Then the professor, who has his daily work at the Department of Business Administration, gets serious again as there must not be any doubt that the analysis panel takes their task very seriously. Jørn Flohr Nielsen puts it like this:
"The members of the analysis panel now need the opportunity to immerse themselves in the report and have the chance to check with their support base and evaluate the importance of the general or special problems that the expert group points out in its report." He continues:
"And then our task will be to prioritise, as I fear the list of problems is going to be very, very long and that there will be a great deal of variation among the main academic areas. We hope to help the management by identifying the problems that we believe they should get to work on as quickly as possible."
Representing different interests
At a series of meetings, Jørn Flohr Nielsen expects the members of the panel to be able to reach agreement on the most important aspects that need to be communicated to the senior management team.
"The analysis panel has been deliberately put together with a broad base, rather like a political body that represents different interests. It may well be that there will be some disagreement and that this might also be reflected in the comments to the management. But so far things have gone well with our collaboration, as all of us are very aware that if this is to have an effect, then we have to achieve a certain degree of agreement among ourselves and with the management regarding the basis for further discussion."
Management only has a moral obligation
Jørn Flohr Nielsen comments on the senior management team's obligation to adopt the priorities that the panel presents in its comments on the report:
"The management are not under any obligation towards us. So when we submit the report with our comments, the management only has a moral obligation to respond to it."