HoD News - 7 October 2019

2019.10.07 | Niels Haldrup

Dear colleagues,

The new norm system
As you know, the department management team is presently working on a revision of our norm system following previous discussions and the input we received during the departmental residential meeting in November 2018. We will also adopt the Excelsior platform (instead of Vipomatic) for the recording, display, and monitoring of activities. The general frames for the revised norm system will be presented and discussed with the sections during weeks 44 and 45. Separate invitations will be made for these section meetings. Later, the new norm system will also be discussed at LSU and Departmental Forum meetings.

Without revealing too much at this stage, the new norm system will be characterized by:

  1. a high degree of transparency and openness at the individual level.
  2. simplicity, compared to the existing norm system, and with fewer activities being priced.
  3. focus on creating a common culture as regards the contribution to “academic and departmental services”; that is, activities that are not explicitly priced.

The latter point is important because a common culture regarding “academic and departmental services” has a major impact on the work environment and our ability to take common responsibility and ownership of our work place.

As said, we are presently working on establishing the overall structure of the new norm system. Prices will be discussed next. It should be emphasized, however, that the current norm system generally appears to be in balance. There are imbalances across fields, which will be dealt with outside the norm system, so we should not expect major changes in the current prices, even though the pricing of certain activities will be reconsidered. The large surpluses observed for some faculty members include a number of factors such as transferred surpluses from the old norm system (prior to 2012) and understaffing in certain fields. As I have previously informed, the balances in the current system by 31 January 2020 will be directly transferred and recorded in the new system.

Let me also add that when the new norm system takes effect, there will be sharper guidelines and directions for “sabbaticals” - or “research stays abroad” as we will call it in the future. Historically, it appears that “sabbaticals” have been dealt with rather differently across the sections within the department.

The revised norm system will take effect on 1 February 2020.

Employee recognition
In the ECON Departmental Forum, we have had a discussion about “employee recognition” and actions that can be taken to improve the workplace environment, including the way we recognize employees’ efforts and performance along many different dimensions. The Departmental Forum has now written a report with valuable inputs and suggestions that will be thoroughly discussed within the management team before an action plan will be presented. I appreciate our discussions, and I also consider the input we have received as an important contribution to the APV (workplace assessment) action plan.

Niels Haldrup

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