Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Re-organisation of Communications in Central Administration decided

The senior management team has adopted a plan for re-organising communications functions in the central administration.

2014.12.05 | Svend Aage Mogensen

On 22 October 2014, the senior management presented its decision to reorganise the university’s administration: in future, the former ‘front office’ units in the administration centres would  report to the administration centres managers at the faculties, a decision which applied to communications as well. At the same time, the rector launched a separate process to determine the future placement of the central administration’s communications unit, which was no longer to be an independent administrative division. This process is now complete.

The new locations of the central administration’s communications functions
The majority of the employees in the former communications department in the central administration will join the administrative division Research and Business Collaboration, which will be renamed Research and External Relations. This decision was taken by the management on the grounds that this placement would provide the greatest synergies between communications and other functions in the administrative division. Joining Research and Business Collaboration are communications staff who work with recruitment, events and reputation, as well as graphic designers, photographers and TV/video staff as well as the university historian.

The staff of the current Web and Digital Platforms team will be transferred to IT, which will be renamed IT and Digital Media. The senior management team finds that this constellation will provide the best conditions for the work of improving the user-friendliness of AU’s website.

Omnibus will be transferred to IT and Digital Media and will continue to be an independent university newspaper.

New communications department close to management
The remaining staff (from Internal Communication and External Communication) will be transferred to the Rector’s Office, where a small new communications department will be established that will include the current Press Office.

“All of the faculties have expressed a desire for the establishment of a proactive, operational communications department with close links to the Rector’s Office and the senior management team in order to consolidate the university’s strategic communication, so that we can give Aarhus University a stronger, clearer voice in public debate on research and education. Internally, our aim is better coordination of the university’s activities, and better conditions for dialogue between employees, students and the senior management team,” explains Pro-rector Berit Eika. On behalf of the senior management team, Pro-rector Eika headed the process of reorganising communications that was initiated on 22 October.

Some employees to remain in Frederikshus
In the course of the process, the faculties, deputy directors and employees have submitted their proposals for the structure of communications to the senior management team. For the employees of the central communications unit, the highest priority was to remain a single unit.

“We have assessed each communications specialisation separately to identify where the greatest synergy effects lie, and the management has made its decision on that basis,” explains Eika.

“We’re aware of the fact that this process has been challenging for the employees, and that it’s been a drain on their energy,” she says.

The employees argued in favour of allowing the members of the former back office who will be joining Research and External Relations to remain in Frederikshus, where there is storage space, a university history archive and a photo studio.

“There was good professional cooperation in the unit, and we want to preserve that as far as possible, so we’ve assented to this request,” explains the pro-rector.

The changes will formally come into effect at the turn of the year.

“The task of getting the new working relationships to function is what’s ahead of us now - both retaining existing networks and creating new ones that can improve coordination with the administration centres,” says Eika.

The current AU communications-related forums for recruitment, web, social media and so on will continue.  

All groups, All AU units, Administrative, Aarhus University, Administrative