Will hire rector and investigate the management model

The NTNU board has decided that the rector position will be announced now, but that time should be spent on investigating the management model at NTNU.

Bilde av Hovedbygningen på Gløshaugen i Trondheim. Snø på bakken og på taket
Fra Gløshaugen campus desember 2023. Foto: Maren Agdestein/NTNU

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After Anne Borg resigned as rector in December, it has been discussed whether NTNU should return to a model with elected rector. Board member Aksel Tjora inquired that a case about elected or employed rector should be on the agenda at the board’s meeting on 22 January. It was planned that the board should discuss and decide whether NTNU’s management model should be further investigated or not.

A majority of the board members agreed that there is not enough time to investigate the management model by the end of June 2024, as it was originally proposed in the case. Several of the board members pointed out that the topic is too important for an investigation carried out in a hurry.

It was also pointed out that an investigation would be time- and cost consuming at a time when there is already pressure on both financial and administrative resources, and that such work would come at the expense of other important tasks.

Time for investigation

In addition, the Ministry of Education has said that NTNU cannot have an acting rector for more than six months. If the management model was to be investigated now, NTNU would have had to announce the rector position for a priod of 1.5 years – the rest of Anne Borg’s original period.

The board therefore concluded as follows:

  1. The board recommends an investigation into the management model and asks the rector to come back to the board with a proposal for a mandate after a new rector has been appointed until 31 July 2029.
  2. The board emphasizes that a possible change of management model will only be possible on 1 August 2029.

The rector position will now be announced

The board also had to decide on the process for recruiting a new rector for a fixed-term position. The board decided that the position should be announced for a five-and-a-half-year term, with a duration up to and including 31 July 2029.

The board was positive about the proposal to set up an internal applicant committee that can help get more candidates for the position. The committee will consist of representatives from various disciplines at NTNU. The board also supported the requirement for professorial competence, and it was highlighted that the announcement text should state that candidates must have good understanding of academic freedom.

The position will be announced on 23 January this year, with an application deadline of 20 February 2024.

No acting pro-rector

The role of pro-rector for research and dissemination has been vacant since Tor Grande was appointed acting rector in December. The board had no objections to the rectorate’s recommendation that no acting pro-rector for research and dissemination is appointed until a permanent rector is in place.

The tasks within the research area are mainly transferred to pro-rector for innovation, Toril Hernes. Responsibility for the University Library is transferred to the Director of Organization and Infrastructure, but Tor Grande will continue to lead the Library Board.

Management of the internal board for the unified campus project is transferred from the rector to pro-rector for education, Marit Reitan. In addition, rector will invite deans and the director of the NTNU University Museum to lead various committees which currently belong to one of the pro-rectors.

Marit Reitan continues as deputy rector.