SLU news

News from NJ's Faculty Board Meeting on April 19

Published: 17 April 2023

NJ's faculty board held a meeting on April 19. Here is a summary of the most important decisions made at the meeting.

Basic allocation for subject areas

According to the board's instructions, the basic allocation should be distributed to the subject areas (ämnesområden) at the faculty. The board decided that the basic allocation should be the same for all subject areas. It was also decided that other targeted grants to subject areas should be time-limited and thus subject to recurring reconsideration.

The decision is expected to increase transparency in the allocation of funds to subject areas and thus institutions. One consequence is that all grants that are in addition to the basic grants for subject areas will need to be managed within the framework of special decisions and after some form of reconsideration.

Procedures for reconsideration of subject areas

The board decided to instruct the dean to establish procedures that will apply when a person leaves their position as subject area manager (ämnesansvarig, usually a professor). All subject areas will be subject to reconsideration, and the area's strategic significance from different aspects will then be assessed, including its significance for SLU's education and for other subject areas at SLU and the faculty.

Senior lecturers in mathematics are being recruited

The board decided to initiate the recruitment of a senior lecturer in mathematics. SLU intends to apply for permission to award engineering degrees, and the appropriate teaching qualifications must be in place. An application for permission to award degrees will be sent to the Ministry of Rural Affairs and Infrastructure in early May 2023. Since a shortage of mathematics teachers is expected in a few years, this recruitment will also benefit mathematics education in the faculty's other educational programs. If permission to award degrees is granted, the board decided to recruit an additional senior lecturer in mathematics.

Activities and financial status of research schools in 2022

The status of NJ's research schools was presented. There are now six since a merger of two research schools was completed at the turn of the year.

All research schools have started planned activities in 2022, but the transition between the previous and current cycle caused a slight delay in activities. Covid also affected operations in the spring of 2022. Nevertheless, all research schools have conducted courses, as well as activities such as workshops, seminars, and study trips.

Guest professor in interdisciplinary studies at the Department of Urban and Rural Development

The faculty board decided to propose to Vice-Chancellor to employ Professor Marie Stenseke as a guest professor in the field of human geography. Marie will primarily work on developing interdisciplinary research at the faculty and throughout SLU. Marie is a professor of human geography at the University of Gothenburg, and since autumn 2022, she has been employed at SLU for 20 per cent as program manager for the Interdisciplinary Academy (IDA), which is an interdisciplinary initiative at SLU. 

Co-financing for the extension of doctoral studies due to the pandemic

The board was informed about the funds that the Vice-Chancellor had previously made available to the faculties because some doctoral students could not reach their degree goals due to the pandemic. The faculties have now been asked to report to the Council for Education at Research Level (FUR) on the doctoral students who have been granted extended time (prolongation) and financial support for this.

Evaluation of Faculty's Field Research Stations

Mats Höglind from Nibio, one of Norway's largest research institutes, has evaluated the faculty's three field research stations Lövsta, Röbäcksdalen and Lanna. Here are some conclusions drawn by Mats Höglind.

  • The coordination between the stations needs to be strengthened.
  • The stations should be given equivalent standards in terms of facilities, equipment, and research equipment.
  • The stations should be utilized more in teaching.

Appointment of Associate Professors

The Faculty Board has decided to appoint the following individuals as associate professors:

  • Johan Blomquist in the field of economics,
  • Stephanie Leder in the field of rural development,
  • Lorenzo Menichetti in the field of soil science,
  • Santanu Basu in the field of food science.