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We look forward to working with you, Lars Bo

"As the former yo-yo champion of the town of Frederikssund, you’re obviously well-prepared for the job. Because things can go up and down here”. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and 200 employees welcomed the new Dean of the Faculty of Health, Lars Bo Nielsen, to Aarhus University on Wednesday 19 April.

2017.04.26 | Sabina Bjerre Hansen

The Ambulatory was filled for the university’s welcome reception for the new dean of Health.

The first speech was by Rector Brian Bech Nielsen:

“Your CV speaks for itself. You are competent and empathetic and you have a sense of humour. You’re going to need all of that. You will be heading a strong faculty. The employees at Health will work together with you, they will exchange ideas with you, and they will challenge you. And you will challenge us. On your second working day we met outside in the car park. I sensed you were looking at my stomach as I got out of the car. And then you said: 'You should get an electric bicycle'. You’re right, of course – it’s always good to get a professional medical assessment," said Brian Bech Nielsen.


Ole Thomsen, head of corporate management at the Central Denmark Region with special responsibility for health, brought a detailed list of wishes for Lars Bo Nielsen. The region and the university collaborate on a wide variety of tasks, and the region wishes to have a dialogue about finances, research and education.

Vice-dean Ole Steen Nielsen also had something to say to the new dean:

"When I temporarily took on the position of dean after Allan Flyvbjerg, I was asked whether it was difficult to take over after a great manager. The answer is no, because the employees are the ones who run the show. You’re taking over a strong show, Lars Bo. And you already have a professional staff ready to help you do that," he said.


Kristjar Skajaa, department head at the Department of Clinical Medicine, welcomed Lars Bo Nielsen on behalf of all five of Health's department heads.

"As you said in an interview, sooner or later you’ve got to cut loose if you want to do something else. As a former obstetrician, I’d like to pass on some advice that I’ve given to women in labour," began the department head, before continuing:

"The first piece of advice is that you should pay attention to your own gut feeling, because no doctor or midwife can do that for you. The second piece of advice is that the birth will probably go faster than expected, so you shouldn’t wait too long to seek help," said Kristjar Skajaa.

Anne Marie Bundsgaard, biomedical laboratory scientist at the Department of Biomedicine and vice-chair of the Faculty Liaison committee, had a brief and terse invitation:

“We’re looking forward to working with you. And everything will be fine, Lars Bo, if you just listen to what we say," she said.


Professor, Consultant and Clinic Manager Hans von der Maase from the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet congratulated Aarhus University on the appointment of Lars Bo Nielsen.

"Lars Bo, you have all the qualities needed to hold a special position like this one. You are the essence of integrity and decency," he said.

Finally, Lars Bo Nielsen took the rostrum himself.

"I will work constructively and loyally for all of you. Health must be a good place to work. We should want to recommend Health as a workplace and a place to study. And then we must look after one another and our students. We should provide our students with the best opportunities."

"I sense there is a strong willingness to open Health's study programmes towards the world around us. That is the right way to go," said the new dean of Health. He also took the opportunity to underline the university's obligations:

"The university plays an increasingly important role in the post-factual society, and we must be open and active in the debate, because at the universities we take facts as our starting point and nothing else," said Lars Bo Nielsen.

With particular address to the region’s representative, he also took up the question of expectations for graduates from medicine:

"The region wants to see newly qualified medical doctors who can work in the emergency room from day one, but I think we must be cautious about going in that direction. Our graduates must work as medical doctors for fifty years. During that time, they will undoubtedly learn everything they need to at the hospitals. But on the other hand, they only have six years at the university to get the academic basis and the horizon that they must continue to build on throughout an active academic life," said Lars Bo Nielsen.

Listen and watch Lars Bo Nielsen in this video from the reception (Only in Danish):


All photos were taken by Lars Kruse/AU.

Events, Administration (Academic), Academic staff, Health, Health, Technical / administrative staff