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Birte C. Hornemann is running for the University Board

AAU Elections 2019: Five questions for candidate Birte C. Hornemann

Openness and dialogue between management and staff is the key issue special advisor Birte C. Hornemann would address as a board member. Among the issues she wants to put on the agenda as a member of the University Board is occupational health and safety at AAU, after witnessing how organisational changes and redundancies have negatively impacted several university departments.

Name of the candidate, job title, place of employment at AAU:

Birte C. Hornemann, Special Advisor, Aalborg University Library.

Why do you want to be a board member?

The reason why I want to be a part of the AAU board is that I am confident in my abilities and that I would have the power to be heard as the voice of the TAP group. To be working at Aalborg University is something that I am very proud of and I would enjoy contributing to the development of our Institution. Subsequently, I want to help securing the balance between the various board members’ influence on our management.

In your opinion, what is AAU's biggest challenge?

Internally, I find the biggest problem of the TAP group to be the many completed and on-going implementations of changes. Overall, the University’s most severe challenge is the many budget-cuts which indirectly also works as a major concern for the TAP group.

 What is the solution to it?

Changes are inevitable in our organisation - both externally and internally determined ones. The pace of changes has increased in recent years – a development I only foresee as continuous. For the employees to keep up with the many changes, helping the organisation moving forward after recent changes and ensure job satisfaction, the employees need to be involved, as well as expressing transparency and good communication regarding changes.

To ensure that no knowledge is lost in connection to possible changes there must be openness and dialogue between management and employees. A prerequisite of a strong work environment is the feeling of security, which is earned through openness and dialogue with the employees.

The informal sharing of knowledge between employees is also fundamental. Moreover, measures such as cuts in coffee breaks would be devastating for the overall work environment and the quality and efficiency hereof.

We would only be able to stop external challenges associated with cuts through the political system. Our University is experienced and skilled at communicating with politicians, the business community and others concerning our high quality in education, research as well as innovation.

Why should one vote for you to board the election?

You should vote for me because I am a diligent, loyal, brave and well-articulated colleague. Furthermore, I believe that openness and dialogue between the management of the university and its employees lead to a better work environment, greater job satisfaction and improved efficiency.

As a representative of TAP in the AAU board, I would always show up well prepared and be loyal to the colleagues I would be the voice of. I have enough experience to know which discussions I should engage in, and which I should leave to others. This means that I would be listened to in discussions of relevant.

What is your most important key issue?

My most important key issue is openness and dialogue between management and employees.

There is a substantial difference in how the different departments have experienced many of the recent changes. Some are happy with their new structures, while others are less impressed. Also, there is a big difference in how much openness and dialogue there have been across the different departments. I believe that procedures should be put in place which would ensure that management share information and that comfortability and trust would be a fundemental part of the different departments.

It is my impression that the working environment in some departments has had a downward trend in connection with the latest organisational changes and layoffs. Therefore, I would suggest that work environment should be put in the agenda in more ways than it is today and in new ways. We should be thinking outside the box and, among others, lean toward how private companies achieve great work environments.

Lastly, a key issue of mine is that I would want to ensure communication and information about the work done within the board to and between all the TAP representatives at the university. I would be communicating both through the staff representatives as well as through meetings in which all would be invited. As TAP employees, we are a broadly composed group, and it would take a lot of engagement and devotion to be the voice of the group.