Every other month, the K2 management organizes a lunch for those with a permanent academic position. The purpose of this is partly to have a meeting place for those the permanent academic employees and partly that the management can inform about relevant issues and not least to get important feedback on these issues.
For the Faculty Lunch on May 9th we were joined by Victor Norman, Heidi Annette Espedal, and Per Bakke. None of them needs an introduction, but it is not certain that everyone knows that Victor Norman is the Head of the Faculty Board. The reason for the visit was Victor Norman’s wish to meet the departments at our faculty. He turned out to be very curious and asked a number of good questions during the tour and the lunch. As many of you know, one of my mottoes for active learning and research is: What’s your question? Hence, Victor Norman passed the test and is offered to be Professor Emeritus at K2!
An important topic of discussion was the organization of the institute. Victor Norman praised K2 for a brave and foresighted organization across different research fields, and his experience is that the option, a traditional division into specialties, easily leads to turmoil and internal conflicts. However, the challenge with our current organization is lack of a structure with clear command lines, responsibility, and authority for those who manage the teaching. The management will therefore organize a committee that should make a proposal for an adjustment and supplementation of the current structure at K2. The challenge is how the teaching can be organized better, and at the same time be integrated with the current research groups.
Another topic of discussion was the management’s proposal of a process for what and who K2 should select for the next 10 years to build powerful environments with future-oriented research, teaching and innovation. For one thing is certain, if we are to succeed in this, we need to secure more external funding. Using all the good and wise heads of K2 in such a process is important. One element to consider, is the tenure track system. Tenure track is a type of position that is common in the United States. Newly employed academics will not be permanently employed, but will be on a trial period for 5-7 years. If this falls positively, the person will receive a professorship. If not, the position will re-advertised. The university has “innstegstillinger” similar to this and which we intend to use as a starting point.
In order to take advantage of the good resources we have at K2, the research groups are hereby challenged to come up with suggestions on a thematic area they consider important for future-oriented research and how this can be linked to teaching and innotion. The suggestions should contain preferably one person they think is relevant to a tenure track position. The proposal must be justified and must be on a maximum of one page. The deadline for proposals is 1st June and should be sent to Silke Appel (firstname.lastname@example.org).