These and other matters were discussed by the University Board on 1 February 2023.
The first University Board meeting this year included a dialogue meeting with the Mathematics Education Research Group at Agder (MERGA), one of UiA’s priority research centres.
The centre conducts research on the issues of mathematics teaching and learning in many settings.
The University Board followed up on the decision in November 2022 to change the governance model (from two-tier to unified management) at UiA’s faculties and the teacher educations, by establishing what the change will entail.
It was decided that the new model will be in force at all the faculties from 1 January 2024. For four of the seven units, this corresponds to the dean’s period of office.
The period of office for Dean Hans Hodne at the Faculty of Humanities and Education will be extended by half a year, until the end of 2023, while processes are underway with regard to the two faculties whose deans’ terms were supposed to end in 2025, the School of Business and Law at UiA and the Faculty of Fine Arts. The boards at the faculties and the Teacher Education Unit will have their terms extended until the end of 2023.
New proposals for the organisation of the faculties and the teacher educations at UiA were adopted as proposed with one exception. A proposal was made that the dean’s role, which from 2024 changes from being the chair of the faculty board to being the secretary of the board, should be replaced by a temporary academic staff member. This was adopted unanimously. From 2024, one of the external board representatives will take on the role of faculty board chair.
The role of the faculty directors is clarified in the new provisions to ensure a relatively similar framework for the top administrative leaders of the faculties across the institution. This is important so that UiA can continue to have one coherent administration.
A proposal was raised for the overall scientific responsibility to be made clear in the instructions to the role of the dean, but this proposal was defeated by 4 votes to 5. The instructions to the dean are prepared as they are to take care of the formal responsibility, but without restricting the dean’s scope for action.
The University Board has previously adopted an ambitious environment and climate action plan for 2020 to 2023. In this meeting, the board decided that the administration should continue their efforts to get an environmental certification for UiA’s operations.
What type of certification UiA will go for is still not decided, but so far, a lot of work has been done with Miljøfyrtårn (Eco Lighthouse). Much of what is needed to be certified is already in place at UiA, but certification requires this work to be better documented and presented.
In connection with the adoption of UiA’s travel policy, questions were raised about the sustainability of the operation of UiA’s campus Metochi on the island of Lesvos in Greece. An interdisciplinary committee was set up and has now produced a sustainability analysis of the activities at Metochi, covering economic, social and environmental sustainability.
Some main findings are:
Based on the report, the University Board noted that large parts of the activity at Metochi are sustainable, and decided that:
It is assumed that Metochi will be increasingly used for external rather than for internal seminars.