Letter from the Dean
New at work, new perspectives
As the new deputy dean at the NJ Faculty, I’m looking forward to the new year and my new tasks. I’ll still be doing research part-time, but I’m leaving my role as head of department behind. Transitioning from a familiar role to a new one, with so much to learn, is always a challenge.
A new position in a different part of SLU’s organisation also means a new perspective on things. Not only do things literally look different depending on your perspective, new perspectives allow you to leave preconceptions behind and open up to creativity.
But I wouldn’t say that I’m changing my perspective, as some colleagues put it, but rather that I’m adding a new one. This will hopefully provide a more rounded picture of the challenges I’ll face. The philosopher Ortega said that perspective is perfected by the multiplication of its viewpoints. I’m no expert at perspectivism theory, but I’m looking forward to working with the new faculty board, where different perspectives meet and together, we can reach fully developed decisions exactly because we consider different perspectives. Research has shown that groups often take worse decisions than individuals when they try to reach consensus, as the desire to fit in is a strong driving force. You can counteract this by having people with diverse experiences and knowledge in a group, as is the case with our faculty board.
Experience from various roles not only provides perspective, but also an understanding of needs and wants and how decisions are taken and received by different parts of our faculty. I believe my experience as research group leader, head of department and other roles at faculty level will be an asset in my role as deputy dean. It’s important to understand and validate the feelings that may arise when tough decisions are taken in the best interest of the faculty but at the expense of departments or individuals.
On a personal level, I’m looking forward to meeting and interacting with a lot of new people, and learning from them. I’m also curious as to what challenges we’ll face, and I’m looking forward to three exciting years!
/Sara Hallin, deputy dean