First meeting accomplished for the new University Board
At the statutory meeting on 30 May, Lars Lustig, county director of Västerbotten, was appointed vice chair of the University Board; member of the Umeå University Staff Disciplinary Board; and chair of the University Board Budget Committee. Pär Lärkeryd, CEO of Norra skog, was appointed chair of the University Board Audit Committee. The University Board also commented on the Government's decision to shorten the term of office.
Text: Anja Axelsson
The University Board at Umeå University usually holds its first assembly on site in Umeå and at that point set the budget for the upcoming period. But things were different this year. The new University Board held its statutory meeting online. This was due to the Swedish Government's decision to shorten the term of office for external members, which hampered the chances of scheduling a meeting before the summer.
In conjunction with the board meeting, the University Board also expressed their disapproval of the Government's decision to shorten the term of office for external members of the boards of state universities from three years to 17 months:
"The Government's decision is extremely remarkable and worrying for academic freedom and the autonomy of higher education institutions. Their decision did not include consultation with universities and hence deviated from a carefully constructed and well-functioning nomination process. Shortening the term of office is disrespectful not only to higher education institutions, but also to the nomination committees and board members. The members of the Umeå University Board are in agreement that the Government should reconsider its decision and safeguard higher education institutions' role to build and provide knowledge without the interference from politics."
The next regular assembly will be held on 22–23 August at which the 2024 budget for Umeå University will be adopted.