The financial room for maneuver at the universities has been significantly reduced in the last year, and the Faculty of Medicine has had major cuts in its budgets. K2 is the largest department at the Faculty of Medicine and has received the largest reductions. The Rectorate has given the faculties a deadline of approx. 2 years to break even.
To reverse the trend, K2 is introducing a number of measures. One of these is linked to the possibility of saving money through area efficiency, to slightly reduce the large amount of area that K2 uses. The faculty pays well over NOK 75 million in area rent. If K2 can reduce the areas somewhat, K2 will receive funds as compensation.
K2 has therefore set up an area committee led by Silke Appel to make a brief analysis of the current situation for the use of offices and laboratories in the Laboratory Building and outline a proposal for how approx. 358 square meters in the Laboratory Block, which are particularly expensive to rent from Helse Bergen, can be saved and which models, if any, can be used. This applies, for example, relocation of entire research groups, joint use of laboratory space and more open office space. The committee will look at the possibility of saving the areas by allowing the staff to work more closely or by using less expensive areas, e.g. in BBB.
The committee has delivered its analysis and identified approx. 355 square meters essentially divided into three areas and which can potentially be saved. The proposal will form part of a process with the Dean’s Office and UiB central regarding possible agreement with Helse Bergen on temporary takeover of these areas. Affected research groups will be involved in the process if Helse Bergen shows an interest in this.
It can be a demanding exercise, but it should be possible to use less space. When it comes to offices, most people today can get by with a PC and a screen, although some may have a greater need. People in reduced positions can e.g. share an office with a little planning. The laboratories are very important for translational research, but here too we have to think anew. Much of the research is done today via core facilities and on a computer today, and it is possible to share bench space with others.
Times are more demanding than before, but I believe it is temporary and that with a skipper roof we can get through the process. It is important that we stand together in this and that everyone, in different ways, gives a little extra now in terms of flexibility so that the institute as a whole will come out of the situation – even stronger. It is possible!
Enjoy the week end,