The newly elected Academic Board, which will begin its work on 19 April, is the key decision-making body of research and education at the new Tampere University. Initiatially, the main task of the Academic Board is to align the key principles of research and education in order to launch the new university from the beginning of 2019. In addition, the Academic Board appoints the members of the University Board.
The Academic Board will start working swiftly by organising its role and tasks, and by agreeing on its work methods. The Academic Board will also place the degree programmes in the new Faculties in accordance with the university community’s strategy and educational vision, which will lay a significant foundation for the profiles of degree programmes at the new University.
During the spring, the Academic Board will also discuss the Regulations on Degrees of the new University. The most important alignments concerning e.g. admissions and study rights, studies, and curriculum design will be decided before the summer break. These alignments are needed in the design of the University's activities and services, such as constructing the new Faculties. In addition, the Academic Board will establish the University’s Research Council, Education Council and Social Interaction Council, and appoint the statutory Degree and Appeals Committee.
This spring, the Academic Board will also deal with key fundamental issues concerning e.g. the research career, and open science and research. In addition, the research strategy of the new University will feature prominently in the work of the Academic Board.
Prior to the summer break, the Academic Board is scheduled to meet as many as nine times. The autumn meetings of the Academic Board will be decided before the summer holidays. The goal is to have a more regular meeting schedule from next autumn onwards.
In order for the Academic Board to operate smoothly, the preparation of key issues has already started months ago. Tampere3 preparatory groups on research and education and dozens of experts have participated in this work. It has been gratifying to see how willing the subgroups of e.g. on the Regulations on Degrees have been to engage in the preparations. Despite the busy schedules, everyone has had a genuine desire to build the new, working university and to make high-quality preparations.
The new University's academic management system comprises the Board, the Academic Board, the operative management and the faculties and faculty councils. In addition, a number of preparatory organs will begin their work in the beginning of 2019. All organs in this system have their own roles and all must work together for the same goal: to build the new university. In order to ensure the free flow of information, regular joint meetings of the Academic Board and the University Board are scheduled, as well as other meetings of the Academic Board with various actors.
The work of the Academic Board starts in a unique situation where completely new work practices are being created. Significant decisions, that would normally be made in stages over a time span of several years, will be made by the Academic Board in a very short time. The timetable is now exceptionally strict because the new University will be launched in nine months. Even in such a hurry, it is important to ensure that decisions are made on the basis of good preparation and extensive discussions among the members of the Academic Board.
It is important that the members of the Academic Board are able to use enough energy to familiarise themselves with all aspects of the new University and have the ability to look far enough into the future.
Head of Education
The author has long experience of various tasks in higher education. At present, she is preparing to start the work of the Academic Board and coordinating issues within the Board’s remit.