Department of Computer Science still waiting for new department head

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Two and a half months have passed since a selection committee settled on a candidate for the job of head of the Department of Computer Science. But a decision on who will head the department going forward has still not been taken.

2018.08.23 | Lotte Bilberg

Acting Head of Department Kurt Jensen (left) from the Department of Computer Science will be stepping down on 31 August, a decision he announced some time ago. The three professors who currently constitute the department’s temporary management team together with Jensen have also decided to step down at the end of the month. It’s now up to the dean of ST, Niels Christian Nielsen, to decide whether leadership of the department will be taken over by a new dean or a new temporary management team on 1 September.

In brief

Serious cooperation issues last autumn

Frustrated professors. A respected – and popular – department head quits. The rector intervenes. And a temporary management team is appointed.

This was the situation at the Department of Computer Science last autumn. A situation caused by long-standing difficulties in collaboration between Dean Niels Christian Nielsen and the professors at the department. Employees’ increasing concern about the delay in hiring a new department head should be understood on this background.

READ MORE: Rector forced to intervene: Serious cooperation issues between the dean of ST and the Department of Computer Science

“I expect that we’ll be hiring a new head of department before the summer holiday.” 

When Omnibus spoke with him in mid-May, Kurt Jensen, acting head of department at the Department of Computer Science, sounded certain. And in late May, a selection committee did in fact settle on the candidate they recommended to the dean as new head of department. 

READ MORE: Appointment of the new head of the Department of Computer Science expected to take place before the summer holiday

At the same time, employees were informed that they would probably know the name of their new department head before long. But two and a half months have passed since then, and the department head’s chair is still empty.

Increasing unease at the department

Employees are becoming more and more uneasy: the acting department head will be heading for the door on 31 August. And according to Jensen, the same goes for the three professors who have constituted his temporary management team since early December next year. 

“I announced that it won’t be possible to extend my contract a long time ago, because I have a big course this autumn. The three professors in my management team are also busy with other things, and so they’re not interested in continuing or serving as acting department head,” Jensen explains. 

Why hasn’t a head of department been founded, despite a recommendation to the dean and an announcement to employees almost two and a half months ago?

“You’ll have to ask the dean about that,” Jensen replies.

Got it. But it couldn’t well be salary negotiations that are dragging on for months, could it? 

“I have no comments on what the reason might be. But of course it’s clear that employees are starting to get a bit nervous about the fact that they’re not being given any information after we told them that a candidate had been recommended and that the person in question would be hired before the summer holiday.”

No comment from the dean

The dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Niels Christian Nielsen, has had a number of interviews with the recommended candidate. But unfortunately, it hasn’t been possible to find out why no new department head has been selected despite these interviews. The dean has been unavailable: he is busy with meetings with the faculty’s advisory board.

In brief

Serious cooperation issues last autumn

Frustrated professors. A respected – and popular – department head quits. The rector intervenes. And a temporary management team is appointed.

This was the situation at the Department of Computer Science last autumn. A situation caused by long-standing difficulties in collaboration between Dean Niels Christian Nielsen and the professors at the department. Employees’ increasing concern about the delay in hiring a new department head should be understood on this background.

READ MORE: Rector forced to intervene: Serious cooperation issues between the dean of ST and the Department of Computer Science

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