Published: 02-06-2023 08:40 | Updated: 18-08-2023 14:16

Dialogue meeting with university management draws great interest

Participants at the dialogue meeting in Solna
Participants at the dialogue meeting in Solna Photo: Matilda Pearson

An estimated 150 KI employees took the opportunity to meet President Annika Östman Wernerson, Vice President Martin Bergö and University Director Veronika Sundström at two open dialogue meetings at the end of May. The conversations ranged over a wide variety of topics, such as resource distribution, skills supply, cooperation and security.

The University Management listening to the audience
The University Mangement Photo: Matilda Pearson

On 23 and 29 May, the university management invited KI employees to two open dialogue meetings, the first in Flemingsberg and the second in Solna, to discuss issues of importance to the future of KI, the collaboration climate and how to close the gap between staff and management.

The management opened the meeting by presenting their intention to promote dialogue through the development of work methods; internal communication, discussion, visibility, transparency and closer relations will be given priority.  

“Although not everyone will be happy with all the decisions we make, we must be able to explain and rationalise them,” said KI president Annika Östman Wernerson. 

“The tone of our dialogues must always remain pleasant and respectful,” added KI vice-president Martin Bergö.

Animated discussion on a wide range of subjects

The better part of the meetings was devoted to the employees’ questions and views. Different hurdles were raised, such as the resource allocation model for education, the growing administrative burden and the need to strengthen collaborations with Region Stockholm, other universities and municipalities. The management promised to review many of the issues, and invited the participants’ thoughts and suggestions for solutions.

Flemingsberg has several higher education institutions, and here there were discussions on how KI’s collaborations with them can be developed. An issue raised in Solna concerned transparency around KI’s animal research. Security issues and the management’s opinion about collaborating with dictatorships were also discussed.

“From an academic perspective, we want things to be as open as possible and we can’t go round being suspicious of each other in the organisation,” said Professor Bergö. “We need to have a solid dialogue with other universities, internally and with the Swedish Security Service to ensure that we can combine maximum openness with security.”

“We also need to define the parts of KI that are actually worth protecting, and work is underway to identify them,” added KI’s university director Veronika Sundström.  

Dialogue meetings in English and departmental tour after the summer

Many employees said that they really appreciated the meeting format, and the management announced that dialogue meetings will be held in English on 11 September in Solna and 12 September in Flemingsberg. A departmental tour is also being planned in which the President, Vice President and University Director hope to visit all KI departments over the coming academic year.

“This summer, we’ll be condensing all the input we’ve had in our first months as the new university management, and once we’ve done that we’ll lay out our priorities,” said Professor Östman Wernerson in closing.