Christmas is approaching and it is time to look back and reflect upon what has happened during the first year at K2. The institute was created on the basis of four clinical institutes and many of the efforts undertaken by the leadership have aimed to establish a common culture, and to introduce common routines and arrangements based on the best practices from the old institutes. Because of this many people have had to adapt to a new structure. I am impressed with how flexible many of you have been during this process.
K2 is now organized in 8 academic sections and 21 research groups, with leaders bestowed with mandates. A technician process has been effectuated based on a rationale for how many technical positions are tied to the various research groups. A strategy plan valid until 2015 has been created. The HSE council is up and running. The academic affairs section is joined with K1 and in total 82 courses are administered in medicine, odontology, pharmacy and nutrition.
There are currently 143 PhD candidates at K2 and a total of 26 public defences have been completed at the institute. The Emeriti have done an excellent job as custodes.
Financial constraints have been a recurrent issue throughout the year. Even though our finances are still tight, we can rejoice in the fact that the situation is now markedly better than it was just a few months ago.
These are just a few keywords covering what has happened this year. There are still many challenges that await us, but for now we can all look forward to Christmas with a good conscience.
Last week we received the sad message that Senior Engineer Hildegunn Helle passed away, only 41 years old. This reminds us how fragile life is, and that despite all the happenings at the institute, it is far more important to have peace with oneself and ones nearest relatives and acquaintances.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a peaceful Christmas and a Happy new Year!