A Letter from the Dean: Organizational Changes Proposed
A Letter from the Dean
The working group for the integration of the Schools of CSC, EES and ICT has now presented itsto the President. During the summer, the work has been quite intense with workshops for department heads, “FAs”, “GAs” as well as administrative unit managers. Consensus has been reached in many areas. Some questions have been identified that cannot be resolved now, but need further investigation during the implementation phase. The findings of the working group in the report can be summarized as follows:
One of the key tasks of an integrated School is the review of the educational programs to address programs that extend over several of the traditional subjects of the current Schools. This review is proposed to start immediately, but is estimated to take two to three years to reach full effect. The educational transformation is given top priority, which is also noticeable in the working group’s proposal to make one of the Vice Heads of the School “GA” (responsible for First and Second Cycle Education).
The working group is convinced that it is possible to implement a department organization aligned with scientific subjects. Several groups of departments have declared their interest to merge, but the final departmental organization has to be worked out in a dialog between the current departments and the new management of the School. The working group has proposed a process that targets a decision about a final structure during Q1 2018 in order to take the new structure in operation January 1 2019. As an interim solution for 2018 the current departments are kept, in order to minimize interference with daily operations.
Regarding the structure of the administrative support, the main principles are clear, but more detailed discussions remain. There is a wide consensus that those parts of the administrative support that are independent of the specific research related activities of the departments should be centralized in order to gain economies of scale and a uniform service for students and employees, across the various locations where the new School has activities. The support for the department-specific activities for managers and project leaders needs to be further analyzed in dialog with the departments.
As we at the School of ICT are very much aware, a challenge for a distributed campus model is to provide support for mobility between the various locations of the new School. The working group suggests that improved physical transport, support for digital meetings and co-working facilities that allow employees to temporarily work at other school locations needs to be given high priority.
The plan is that our President will now make the formal decision to integrate the Schools according to the implementation plan suggested by the working group. She will also within the next few weeks appoint the Head of School, the two Vice Heads and the Head of Administration for the new School, who will be responsible for the merger process in the fall and formally take office on January 1. Latest by November the administrative unit managers (“funktionsansvariga”) will be appointed and join the “implementation team”.
The working group points out in the report that this is just the mere beginning of a long process and a lot of work remains to reap the full benefits of a merger. On the other hand, the “to-the-point attitude” and the positive working atmosphere in the various teams that have been working with the proposal in the recent months make me optimistic about the continued process. The three schools all have their strengths and carry lots of experience that the implementation team needs to tap into. There is certainly no lack of interesting and relevant ideas on how to work out the details for an efficient organization for research and education.