Since April, Henrik Rönnberg has served as Vice Dean responsible for doctoral education and equal opportunities at VH faculty. When it comes to research matters, Henrik is truly at home with a solid knowledge of clinical research. However, it's a bit different when it comes to equal opportunities.
"I openly admit that I need to learn more about these issues, and I'm genuinely looking forward to it. They are increasingly crucial from a work environment perspective. And the work environment is so fundamental for us to be an attractive place to work at, both for recruiting new employees and retaining the ones we have," says Henrik, who is a researcher and teacher at KV, as well as a professor of veterinary internal medicine and the head of the oncology specialist clinic at UDS, among many other responsibilities. Henrik became a veterinarian in 1994.
Working on gender issues at the VH Faculty is indeed special because there are so many women working here, but there are many more aspects to equality than just those related to gender.
"One specific aspect I want to highlight is parenting issues from a discrimination perspective. As a father of six, I can contribute with my experiences. This is primarily a work environment issue that is important to address in a workplace like UDS, where many people have scheduled working hours. However, even teachers with a lot of scheduled teaching face challenges in balancing their lives with young children."
The biggest issues at the moment undoubtedly revolve around the expansion of the veterinary and veterinary nursing programs with so many more students.
"The challenge here is to incorporate research-based education, which is incredibly important for these programs. The other major issue is the restructuring the entire faculty is undergoing with larger departments. Finding new collaborative forms can significantly enhance research within VH."
Here Henrik is in his right environment – in the University Animal Hospital.
There are significant changes underway at VH and UDS, but Henrik believes that a university is more or less in a constant state of change. The mission can alter, the university can change strategic investments, and new societal issues can arise that need to be addressed.
"But indeed, there are significant and numerous organizational changes happening right now. However, there's not much we can do about it but accept the situation. We need to approach this collectively, and there's no benefit in being dismayed by all the changes that need to be made in a relatively short period. One must also understand that after decisions are made, there will be adjustment phases. After all, everything cannot happen at once, and one must approach it with humility and understanding."
Text and photo: Mårten Granert-Gärdfeldt.