Greetings from the Department – 8.3.2024

Instituttleder Ørjan Totland. Foto: Eivind Senneset, UiB

Hei dere,

Today is March 8; International Women’s Day. Congratulations to everyone.

This is an eventful week. On Wednesday, bioCEED had its 10-year anniversary conference/ closing seminar and celebration. We all know how positively bioCEED has influenced our way of thinking, talking and, valuing and carrying out teaching here at BIO. It has had a very big impact on how BIO works today. To get a little personal; I’m going to start teaching myself soon, and although I love hearing my own voice and standing in front of an audience, I’m totally convinced that I won’t be doing that (too much). I will teach in a quite different way than I did before, mainly through withdrawing myself and putting the students first and activating them. Many thanks to everyone who has been at the core of bioCEED throughout all the years it has worked: Vigdis, Sehoya, Roy, Oddfrid, Jonathan, Kristin. You should be infinitely proud of what you have achieved through great commitment and great dedication to the project. Many thanks also to all the lecturers and students at BIO who have contributed in their own way to making bioCEED and teaching at BIO so focused on the students’ learning.

We were in the university’s negotiation committee [forhandlingsutvalg] earlier this week, where we presented the development in our finances and all the processes that lead to good results. Everyone at BIO received a lot of praise, from trade unions, the rector, the university director, and the faculty management. It is important that trade unions and the university management see that things are going in the right direction and that they recognize the good work we all do at BIO. Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your fantastic efforts on the teaching and research sides both.

It is a fairly intensive period at the moment with application deadlines in the Research Council. Many thanks to all of you who have challenged yourselves and thrown yourself into writing applications. I look forward to being able to take part in this collective process of making BIO even better. Many thanks also to all of you who have assisted and directed the applicants with budgeting. I would particularly like to single out Sjoukje and Julie here at BIO and the project economists at the faculty; Heidi, Henrik, Jørgen, Kristina, Siri, Øystein. You all do an invaluable important job so that the research at BIO is at a high level and also that BIO’s costs are covered in a good meeting. As we all know, this is crucial for our economy. Then we cross everything we have and hope for good results.

As you know, processes are underway in the subject groups regarding future staffing of our future teaching portfolio. This work will be followed up with processes where we look at how we can strengthen teaching collaboration across subject groups. We are also in the process of establishing a working group that will provide input on a strategic plan and action plan to strengthen them and, as if that were not enough, we are also establishing a working group that will provide input on how we can better inform and communicate at BIO. So a lot is happening to follow up on the input we received from the employee survey and the HSE general meeting. Many thanks to all of you who contribute to these processes.

The results of EVALBIOVIT have been published today. I’ve only had time to skim, but my impression is that this turned out very well. The evaluation groups generally get very good grades (4 (very good) and 5 (excellent) on a scale of 1-5. In particular, we do well in terms of research quality and impact (mainly 4 and 5), while we do a little less well ( mainly 3 and 4) on social relevance. On research organization we also score very well (3-5). I am relieved and not too pleased, and I would like to congratulate all of us on very good results. We will of course study the feedback carefully and consider measures where we have improvement potential.All the evaluation reports have been sent to subject group leaders and managers for the various units.

See also elsewhere here in BIOnytt about the information meeting that NFR is holding on the occasion of the case.

Then I wish everyone a really good weekend in the nice weather. Come out and see nature sprout.




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