Letter from the Dean

Last changed: 25 April 2024

Vice Dean Sara Hallin, photo.

Insights from this year's discussions with the departments

During the spring, the faculty management has held operational and quality dialogues with NJ's departments, focusing on research and environmental analysis. It's the second year we've conducted them since systematic quality assurance in these areas was introduced. It's been fascinating to learn about everything happening in the operations. And there's a lot going on! We've also gained a good insight into how the departments are tackling various challenges to provide good environments and conditions that promote quality in operations.

The immediate reflection is that NJ's employees are doing a fantastic job. NJ is doing well, reflected in publications, impact, external funding, assignments, collaboration, and extensive environmental analysis work. We also see a great commitment to quality work. We're currently in the process of analyzing and condensing the information from the operational and quality dialogues for the faculty's dialogue with the Vice chancellor in June.

Even though the analysis isn't complete, certain patterns emerge regarding development measures at the department level. A recurring theme is how we support young researchers, especially postdoctoral fellows. There's a need to develop strategies for the establishment and development of researchers early in their careers. This could include career coaching for postdocs and creating a forum for them at the department level. Many good ideas and approaches have been tried and established within the departments. There are opportunities to learn from each other!

Another challenge shared by several departments is finding strategies to recruit and retain more women. In recent years, most higher academic positions at NJ have been filled by men, and we have some departments that have become male-dominated in these positions. This is certainly concerning. The question of why it's like this is complex, but we need to do more.

A third challenge for most departments is data storage and, in some cases, how data is made accessible. Many departments are in the darkness here, especially when it comes to "big data." Some departments take matters into their own hands when they perceive SLU IT's prices as unreasonably high, but most are calling for a unified strategy for SLU.

Operational and quality dialogues will continue in 2025 and 2026 with a focus on the research evaluation Quality and Utility (KoN). The next KoN is scheduled for 2027. It may sound far off, but what we do now affects the outcome. I look forward to the results with confidence!

And now, spring finally seems to be on its way!

Sara Hallin
Pro Dean

Photo: Mårten Granert-Gärdfeldt.

Previous letters

The opportunity to influence doctoral education
Vice Dean Petra Fransson, February 2024

Why is the number of applicants to our programs falling?
Vice Dean Jon-Petter Gustafsson, November 2023

Autumn's Challenges and Opportunities in SLU's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Vice Dean Jens Olsson, September 2023

We wish the best of colleagues a wonderful summer.
Dean Torleif Härd, June 2023

What is required to become an associate professor?
Vice Dean Brendan McKie, April 2024

Opportunities in multi- and transdisciplinarity
Vice Dean Helena Hansson, February 2023

Despite the troubled world that we live in, our faculty has certainly had its share of good news this year 
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2022

Festive October and quality in the research education
Vice Dean Petra Fransson, October 2022

SLU's expertise - more needed than ever?
Vice Dean Jens Olsson, September 2022

Summer, reflection and interdisciplinarity
Vice Dean Helena Hansson, June 2022

New at work, new perspectives
Deputy Dean Sara Hallin, February 2022

Reflecting on today and the future
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2021

NJ Faculty and SLU in the debate
Deputy Dean Pär Forslund, October 2021

Looking forward to an autumn of environmental monitoring and assessment
Vice Dean Richard Johnson, September 2021

Dean's Summer Letter: Dear Colleagues at the NJ Faculty!
Dean Torleif Härd, June 2021

Pandemic – have we learned a lesson
Vice Dean Johan Meijer

Inclusive working environments
Vice Dean Marina Queiroz, March 2021

Of course there is a light in the tunnel
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2021

Corona, online collaboration and multi- and interdisciplinary
Vice Dean Helena Hansson, November 2020

The EU, food strategy and moore research
Vice Dean Göran Bergkvist, October 2020

Well-deserved holidays
Deputy Dean Pär Forslund, June 2020

Times They are a-Changin'
Vice Dean Richard Johnson, April 2020

All the best for 2020: The International Year of Plant Health
Vice Dean Johan Meijer, February 2020

Christmas and the New Year are approaching
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2019

Multi- and interdisciplinary research for complex issues
Vice Dean Helena Hansson, October 2019

Understanding differences makes a difference
Vice Dean Marina Queiroz, September 2019

Biodiversity is NJ's strength
Dean Torleif Härd, June 2019

Realize ideas in the doubling project
Vice Dean Göran Bergkvist, May 2019

More teachers, students and honorably doctors
Deputy Dean Pär Forslund, January 2019

The faculty's areas are more important than ever
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2018

New EMA programmes at SLU despite strained budget
Vice Dean Richard Johnson, November 2018

Student numbers will grow – but not on their own
Vice-Dean Göran Bergkvist, September 2018

Summer longing and initiatives
Vice-Dean John Meijer, June 2018

The pussy bow blouse
Vice-Dean Hanna Bergeå, May 2018

Spring and students
Deputy Dean Pär Forslund, March 2018

Wishing you happy, multidisciplinary holidays
Dean Torleif Härd, December 2017

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