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New principles for distribution of R&D time adopted

In the first University Board meeting this year, amendments to the election regulations at UiA were also approved.

Technological research.

The University Board held their first meeting digitally this year on Tuesday 1 February 2022. The public part of the meeting was streamed on uia.no, as usual.

How should the time be distributed?

The University Board adopted new principles for how to distribute time for research and development (R&D) among the academic staff. The current principles in this area were last discussed by the Board in 2009-2010 and have not been assessed or reviewed by the Board since.

The agreed principles are a guide and an ambition from the University Board for how research and development should be prioritised at UiA - a norm for R&D time that clarifies what employees can expect at the expected level of activity.

The purpose of the principles is to set expectations for the employer and the employee, ensure autonomy in the academic environments, and to provide flexibility and room for strategic maneuver to faculties and departments. The principles must also stand the test of time to avoid frequent changes. The new principles form the basis for an active prioritisation of R&D time in each of the individual faculties and departments in the time ahead.

In short, the proposal that was adopted is based on a distribution of R&D time that takes into account both the type of position and individual considerations. Professors and associate professors should in principle have the most R&D time (30-45%), associate teaching professors second most (15-25%) and assistant professors the least (10-15%). In addition, there will be individual assessments related to:

  • The extent of documented research, academic and artistic development work and dissemination in the last three years
  • A leading role and/or participation in major applications for external funding in the last three years
  • Personal circumstances and work situation
  • Specific plans for future activities
  • Other relevant considerations

The complete proposal and the board papers can be read in their entirety (Norwegian only). Time for research and development cannot be seen independently of time for teaching and administration. It was therefore decided that a similar review should be conducted with respect to the distribution of time for teaching and administration. The faculty boards and the Teacher Education Board will discuss the new institutional principles under a separate item on their agendas.

Coronavirus briefing

The university director briefed the Board on UiA’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The staff and student representatives expressed concern about the extra work the pandemic and hybrid teaching entails, and that this may affect the energy level of both groups.

Rector and the university director expressed understanding of this and said that the university management will take advantage of the room for maneuver that national and local guidelines allow for at any given time. This spring, the extent of absence due to illness is expected to be significant, which means that hybrid teaching will continue to a large extent, regardless of upcoming eased restrictions. Continuity planning and predictability will continue to be important priorities.

The university will continue with measures to ease a return to campus throughout the spring semester.

Changes to the election regulations

The University Board adopted various amendments to the election regulations. The practice of Norwegian language requirement to be eligible for election to UiA’s boards and committees is now included in the election regulations, among other things.

The regulations for the election of rector have also been changed in accordance with the new University and University Colleges Act in that the votes of all employees are equal, regardless of whether they are academic or technical/administrative staff. The weighting in a possible upcoming rector election is 72% for employees and 28% for students.

All the changes and board papers can be found on UiA’s website (Norwegian only). 

Other select issues at the meeting

Decision on the principle for distribution of recruitment positions funded by the Ministry of Education and Research. The Board will distribute 10 of these every year, while the rest will be distributed to the faculties.

The University Board reviewed the annual letter of allocation from the Ministry of Education and Research and appointed a delegation from UiA to attend the governance meeting on 30 May.

The Board was briefed on the annual plans for 2022 for the faculties, the Teacher Education Unit and UiA’s administration.

The Board was informed about the planned board agenda for 2022.

The Board adopted an investment plan for non-restricted funds for 2022-2023.

A new action plan for procurement 2022-2025 was approved. Among the goals are the best possible management of resources, increased focus on environmental and social responsibility and contract follow-up.

The regulations for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD) at UiA were revised with some changes.