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From two to three vice rectors at UiA

On Wednesday, the University Board decided that three vice rectors will be appointed at UiA for the next rector period. The next rector Sunniva Whittaker wants UiA to have three vice rectors, and the University Director's proposal received unanimous approval from the Board. 

Påtroppende rektor Sunniva Whittaker får med seg tre viserektorer når hun tiltrer 1. august 2019.
The next rector Sunniva Whittaker will be joined by three vice rectors when she starts on 1 August 2019.

In the first round, University Director Seunn Smith-Tønnessen recommended keeping the arrangement of having two vice rectors for the next rector period. In the consultative round, there was widespread support for following the Director's recommendation. 

After the case was presented, Sunniva Whittaker, dean of the Faculty for Humanities and Education, was chosen as UiA's next rector (starting 1 August 2019).

Three primary tasks

Whittaker wants to have three vice rectors in order to reflect UiA's primary tasks and strategic priority areas. Further, Whittaker underlines that society has great expectations for UiA, and it is strategically sensible to reflect this by having a vice rector responsible for public relations. She also referred to other universities having more than two vice rectors.

In the case presentation, the University Director emphasised that the vice rectors are responsible of carrying out tasks on behalf of the rector, and therefore it is natural that the next rector has a say in forming the positions' mandate and expertise need. Based on this, the University Director recommended having three vice rectors, and the proposal received unanimous approval from the Board. 

The Board decided that the three vice rectors will responsible for the following main areas:

  • Vice rector for educationwill be tasked with the priority area Learning and Education for the Future, the goal in the development agreement concerning life-long learning, alumni and plan for continuing and further education. Vice rector is the head of the Academic Affairs Committee.
  • Vice rector for research and interdisciplinary effortswill be tasked with strategic development of research, following up interdisciplinary efforts, following up the works on the UN's sustainability development goals and equality work.
  • Vice rector for public relations and innovation will be tasked with the priority area Community Involvement and Innovation, the goal in the development plan concerning strengthening study programmes' relevance in society and working life, primary contact with society and working life and social responsibility/values.

Prior to the board meeting, the proposal of appointing three vice rectors was presented to the deans and faculty directors and received widespread support.

Job advertisements for the three vice rector positions will be published in the immediate future.

The University Board also decided that the arrangement of having three vice rectors will be evaluated before the next management period (before 1 August 2023).

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