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Johnny Laursen appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts

The dean looks forward to continuing the faculty's academic development in collaboration with staff and students.

2015.05.26 | Anders Correll

Johnny Laursen will assume the position of dean on June 1st

After an intensive recruitment process headed by the rector, a decision has been reached to appoint Johnny Laursen as new dean of the Faculty of Arts.

“I am pleased to be able to offer Johny Laursen the position of dean of the Faculty of Arts on behalf of the appointment committee. The process has been intensive and thorough, and the pool of applicants was highly qualified,” states Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.

Laursen has served as acting dean of the Faculty of Arts for a little over a year, during which time he was responsible for a comprehensive reorganisation of the faculty. He is 57 years old and earned his PhD in history from Aarhus University. He served as vice-dean for research at the Faculty of Humanities at AU before it became part of the Faculty of Arts through a merger with two other former faculties. After the merger, Laursen served as head of the graduate school at Arts for three years, during which time he was responsible for merging the three graduate schools from the former Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Theology and Danish School of Education into one graduate school, the Graduate School, Arts. Since 1 July 2014 he has served as acting dean of the Faculty of Arts.

“The appointment committee found that Johnny Laursen has demonstrated strong leadership and convincing competences in relation to spearheading the continued academic development of Arts. In the past year, he carried out a successful organisational review of the faculty and introduced a new structure. This was done in close collaboration with staff and students, and I am confident that Johnny will continue to ensure positive development together with the faculty management team and the faculty’s staff,” says Brian Bech Nielsen.

Continuing the development

Johnny Laursen points to last year’s developments at Arts as a major motivation for applying for the position of dean, a position he had not originally intended to seek:

“I am looking forward to continue my work as dean of Arts. My collaboration with the faculty’s management team, staff and students has made a strong impression on me. This is one of the major factors that led me to apply for the position, and I’m looking forward to continuing along the positive developmental path that was laid last year,” he explains.

Laursen points out that while the organisation of the faculty was a major focus in 2014, particularly in the autumn, the foundation for future academic development and increased collaboration with external partners was also laid during this period.

“I’m strongly interested in pursuing this path, and I’m convinced that the staff is too. There’s a will to focus all our efforts on developing our degree programmes and research now. Who wouldn’t be interested in witnessing this process unfold, and in influencing the development of academic goals at a faculty with such great potential for development, and which even appears to have achieved an inner balance,” says Laursen.

Johnny Laursen will officially take up the position on 1 June.

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