Rauni Niskanen's declaration of intent

Last changed: 08 October 2021

Rauni Niskanen, Current Dean.

Background – Solid leadership experience

In my career, I have gone from being a specialist to a generalist and a leader. I am trained as a veterinarian at SLU, with specialist competence in cattle diseases. I also have a doctoral degree from SLU. Since 2019, I have worked as dean at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science. In addition to this, I have more than 20 years as a teacher and researcher, and for almost eight years as manger/leader of several departments. I have also worked as a manager/leader within governments. For eight years in various managerial positions at the Swedish National Food Agency, where my main task was to strategically lead the development of food control, and also as deputy DG. At the National Veterinary Institute, I was head of the Department of Microbiology for three years, with responsibility for the areas of microbiological diagnostics, research and development.

As a manager/leader in university and governments, I have gained extensive experience of:

  • Leading diversified and complex activities
  • Leading and driving development work, strategically and operationally (organizational development, cultural development, design and implementation of new approaches, working methods and tools)
  • Leading subordinate managers
  • Representing activities both internally and externally

Future areas– Sustainability

As a research university SLU has a key role in contributing to the societal transition to a sustainable world, in meeting the global goals. VH's subject areas within animal science and veterinary medicine are central to this development, have a high societal interest, and can contribute with knowledge to a scientifically based transformation.

By coordinating, profiling and communicating SLU's research infrastructures, VH can further strengthen its research, and create better conditions for its educational programs. In overall, it is about growing a sustainable organization with time for recovery, competence supply in the short and long term, and providing students the opportunity to feel confident in their professional role, entering working life.

I see that the faculty can continue to develop as a leading and dynamic research and educational environment, and an attractive workplace. Also, that the way forward is in an increased external perspective, interdisciplinary working methods and cross actor collaborations, with business and industry organizations, other universities and authorities. In acting together we can find solutions to complex challenges and highlight the crucial topics. In this way the faculty can play an even more important role in shaping a future society, making our knowledge even more relevant and asked for.

My contribution - Development thinking 

My work effort has consistently been characterized by a development thinking, and it is in this, that I feel I have been able to contribute to the success and results of organizations. I would be more than happy to continue to work for the development of the faculty, to continue to strengthen the collaboration between our departments, to develop our competences, our working methods, to increase our presence in the public discourse and our role in societal transformation.

In my leadership, I aim to be clear, open and inclusive, contribute to strong visions, create commitment and enable ideas. I hope to give employees the right conditions to see the whole and the way forward, and tools to be empowered in their role at VH. As it is only through each and every one’s effort that we can make difference together.

Personal lines – The journey is the goal

I am married and live with my husband in Knivsta. We have two adult children. During holidays I prefer to take the day as it comes. Even when we travel, weather and wind are allowed to set agenda and ambitions. I'm also a natural at spotting the hidden top hotels with the best surroundings.