An eventful 2023 is coming to an end, and we look forward to peaceful and enjoyable holiday celebrations, followed by a prosperous New Year in 2024. With quite mixed feelings among most, I believe – there's a bit too much happening that isn't entirely positive – yet we still anticipate the new year.
A lot is happening now and in 2024... Locally here at Ultuna, a new campus plan has been developed. Thanks to all of you who have worked on this for your efforts. The campus will undergo densification through land exchanges and other measures, which look positive and pleasant. The municipality is planning a tramway along Ulls väg and Ultunaallén, and the chairman of the municipal executive board and the director of spatial planning in Uppsala municipality are planning to visit us to assess the consequences of the construction. It will be noticeable that a tramway is being built ...
Organizationally, the faculty will have new leadership (with a new dean) in 2024, taking office along with the new faculty board on January 1, 2025. We are currently seeking nominations for a new nominating committee that will work on this matter during the spring. The role of the nominating committee is crucial, and I encourage you researchers and teachers to nominate!
A governmental investigation into future research funding has been presented. It involves relatively comprehensive changes for the new types of applied activities that we engage in. It is important that we clearly express our perspectives in our response. However, it is important to be aware that the Government Office will read our response as one of perhaps a hundred responses from various sources. But, of course, we must still highlight the aspects we care about.
Unfortunately, we have faced challenges regarding the number of applicants to many (not all) of our programs. We view this with considerable concern – it is not good at all – and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Pär Forslund has commissioned an investigation into possible reasons for the decline in applicants.
Our environmental analysis is unfortunately affected by some cuts in funding from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management. The impact, however, is not as significant as we feared for a while, but some activities are affected, which is regrettable.
Nevertheless, research is progressing like a well-oiled machine, concerning external grants at almost all levels. It feels like I have written this quite a few times in recent years, but our faculty is truly strong in the competition for external grants. And there is no reason to assume that it will not continue in 2024.
But now, we look forward to holidays and leisure time! Deputy Dean Sara and I would like to thank you, our colleagues, for the work and progress made during the year. We hope and believe that you feel pride in this and optimism for the coming year. We are a fantastic faculty in every respect, and we are genuinely proud of you. We wish you all a pleasant holiday and a Happy New Year!