While we’re waiting for spring and warmer temperatures, I want to draw your attention to our hard-working faculty board. I suspect some of you may find the board a bit anonymous and removed from the everyday work of research, teaching and support.
The results of the board’s work are often overarching and long-term, and perhaps not something that you will immediately notice ‘on the floor’.
The faculty board has ten members and two deputies. Seven members and the two deputies are appointed through elections at the faculty that take place every three years. Three students are appointed annually by Sluss. Hence, the board members are primarily staff whose colleagues trust them to make decisions about the faculty’s, and departments’, work and future.
All six departments at the faculty are represented, meaning the board is characterised by broad knowledge and understanding. There are also union representatives on the board, and the head of faculty administration, the vice deans who are not members, and one communications officer are permanently adjunct board members. The board is chaired by the dean, and during the current term of office, meetings are headed by Christina Lunner Kolstrup with the support of Torleif Ljung as secretary. There is also a working committee that prepares the agenda for each meeting.
So what does the board do? According to the SLU Board’s delegation of authority, the faculty board's task is to ‘decide on the main focus of activities within the context of its general duties and to create favourable conditions for education, research and EMA within the board’s area of responsibility’.
In practice, the faculty board allocates government funding to e.g. subject fields and strategic investments based on annual decisions on the principles for the allocation of funds. Another important task is to decide on the recruitment of associate senior lecturers, senior lecturers and professors at the departments – from comprehensive recruitment plans to call for subject specialists to assess applications and, finally, recruitment of new staff. The board also prepares a multiannual faculty strategy and approves the annual operational plans linked to it.
At the moment, as I’m sure many of you are aware, we’re reviewing the faculty’s subject fields, a task initiated by the faculty board. One of the board’s tasks is to inform itself about the work done at the faculty, and presentations of departments, units and platforms are a regular item on the agenda. We have on average four meetings in spring and three in autumn, some of them preceded by a pre-meeting with heads of department and members of the programme boards concerned.
As a board member, I’ve noticed the good atmosphere and constructive climate of cooperation at meetings, even if we don’t always agree on everything. Considerable responsibility rests with the board members, in particular those that represent departments – all credit to them for sacrificing some of their valuable time to contribute to improving the faculty in a way that will, in the end, hopefully, concern and benefit you all.
Understanding our organisation and keeping in touch is important, so please approach the board members you work most closely with and discuss what’s on your mind. We won’t always be able to answer, sometimes things don’t fall within the faculty board’s area of responsibility, but we can hopefully help you find out how things work and at what level decisions are taken. And if you think we’re doing a good job, please let us know!
Karl Lövrie, deputy dean and vice chair of the LTV faculty board