The dean’s reply to a student op-ed in Århus Stiftstidende

In an op-ed published in Århus Stiftstidende on 19 December, two students from the Department of Economics and Business compare Aarhus University to a ship bound for catastrophe. The authors describe fundamental problems in the administration of their courses and exams: according to them, conditions for students have worsened since day one. Read Dean Svend Hylleberg reply to the students’ criticisms below.

Dear Sofie and Nanette

I’d like to express my appreciation for your op-ed of 19 December 2012. You write that Aarhus University has hit an iceberg. I can only agree with you; beyond a doubt, we have. But unlike the Titanic, we’re not on the verge of sinking, and if we can avoid hitting the next icebergs in our path, we’ll escape unscathed. This is not to say that all is smooth sailing yet: and therefore, large numbers of AU staff are still slogging away round the clock to make things work. This is particularly true in the study administration; it also holds for other administrative areas. And as member of the senior management team, I can assure you that all hands are on deck here as well. After all, we are responsible for setting this course through these waters full of icebergs.

This is also why we are very responsive to the criticisms you express. Many of the conditions you describe are completely unacceptable, and they must be rectified as quickly as possible if we are to avoid some of the consequences you describe so vividly. But we will solve these problems, I’m certain. And I’m also certain that sailing through these dangerous waters is necessary, if we are to avoid our university’s slow suffocation and a future position as a small, provincial educational institution, able only to dream of contributing to solving the problems of the future.

Dean Svend Hylleberg, Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences

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