A vibrant, active university must constantly reform, rejuvenate and renew itself. Sometimes – for one reason or another – a great many changes happen in a short time.
Karolinska Institutet is currently in a time of change, and to make the coming transition and revitalisation smoother, we’ll be taking certain measures. More of this below.
We have just embarked on the process that we call academic elections, in which the academic part of our university – our teachers and researchers – select and elect colleagues into various academic positions of trust in the organisation: academic vice presidents and vice chairpersons of our three committees (Higher Education, Doctoral Education and Research), members of boards and councils and so forth. You can read more about the academic elections on the KI website.
New president and vice-president
Coinciding with these elections are the activities that will lead to a decision on a new president and vice-president. My term of office will expire at the end of February 2023, as will that of Vice-President Anders Gustafsson. Since KI is a public authority, its president is appointed by the government. The vice-president, on the other hand, is appointed by the KI University Board (konsistoriet). Both decisions are preceded by an internal process involving an application committee, election committee and Consultative College. More detailed information about all this is to be found on the KI website.
As previously announced, University Director Katarina Bjelke has been appointed the new Director General of the Swedish Research Council and will take office on 15 September. Two administrative heads have also announced that they will be leaving after the summer: Director of Communications Anna Maria Böök has accepted the post of Head of Communication at the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and will be starting there in mid-September; and head of the HR Office Mats Engelbrektson has given notice that he intends to leave this autumn. The process to refill these posts has begun. In the meantime, Director of Planning Gunnar Gustafsson Wiss and Chief Press Officer Peter Andréasson will be stepping in as pro tem university director and director of communications respectively.
Deans´ periods of service extended
It is time to decide on new appointments for KI’s three deans. These posts are fixed-term (for three years) and will expire at the turn of 2022/23. While appointments are not preceded by votes, students and staff are invited to nominate candidates. However, in the interests of continuity in the KI management, I intend to extend these appointments by one year, which is in my power as president. My formal decision will be announced before the summer holidays.
I won’t deny that it poses something of a challenge to be losing a number of valuable and highly competent colleagues at the same time. An unfortunate coincidence. But I can state with confidence that KI is resilient and well equipped for the future. For years we have laid together the foundation of the KI we see today. With a reformed organisation, with an ambitious Strategy 2030, with excellent education and research, with a high applicant-to-place ratio of our study programmes and excellent ranking positions, the future for Karolinska Institutet looks bright.
Strong international position
I have recently returned from the World Health Summit in Rome, where I had very tangible experience of just how strong our international status is. KI has gained in reputation and public trust, because of the quality and impact of our research and education and the active involvement of our employees in the societal response to the pandemic.
The latest employee survey shows that our employees would be happy to recommend others to work at KI. We have many ambassadors, and this bodes well for the future. You can read more about the survey in a previous blog.
Let me conclude by wishing all of you the happiest and healthiest of summers!