Published: 13-06-2024 15:48 | Updated: 04-07-2024 15:26

Fewer offices proposed in review of KI's Professional Services

The proposal discussed with affected staff is that five offices will cease to exist and three new ones will be formed from 1 January 2025. The aim is to equip KI's operational support to meet increased demands and rapid changes in the outside world through more effective coordination, and to contribute to a stronger sense of unity throughout KI.

"We need to consolidate KI's operational support for the future," says KI's University Director Veronika Sundström. "Unlike several other universities, we have no savings requirements or redundancies to expect right now, but we need to coordinate ourselves better both to develop our support for core activities, to be efficient and to meet the increased demands from the outside world, not least in terms of security issues. 

A project within the framework of KI's strategic focus areas

The work is carried out within the framework of KI's strategic focus areas. One of the assignments is F1. Review of organisation and working methods in operational support, which is led by a project group with several subprojects. In this first subproject, initial analyses of the organisation of the Professional Services (PS) have been carried out with the help of the heads of offices within PS and the heads of KI's university library (KIB), Teaching and Learning (TL) and Medical History and Heritage (MHK).

Involvement of staff ahead of decisions in October

In June, a proposal with fewer offices and additional investigative tasks was presented to staff at PS, KIB, TL and MHK. During August-October, all heads of these operations are responsible for involving their staff in an in-depth analysis that can be used as a basis for risk management, decisions and implementation. A decision by the University Director and a risk analysis by work environment legislation are planned for October.

The change is intended to take place in several stages, with the following changes proposed to apply from 1 January 2025:

Five of the current PS offices will be closed:

  • Faculty Office and International Relations (FIR)
  • Research Support Office (RSO)
  • Education Support Office (ESO) 
  • Strategic Management Office (SMO)
  • Legal Office (LO)

Three new offices are created with the working names: 

  • Office for Research Support and External Relations 
  • Office for Planning and Legal Support
  • Office for Education Support 
  • Office for Research Support and External Relations (work name)
  • Office for Planning and Legal Support (work name)
  • Office for Education Support (work name)
  • Finance Office 
  • Facilities Office
  • HR Office 
  • IT Office 
  • Communications and Public Relations Office 

During the autumn, additional investigations will be carried out to provide a basis for decisions on the following proposals:

  • Medical History and Heritage (MHK) will become part of the KI University Library (KIB). In 2025, a project is proposed to integrate KIB into PS
  • Teaching and Learning (TL) will remain as an operation under the President for the time being, but will be included in the PS budgeting and operational planning through coordination with the new Office for Education Support.
  • The Communication Department’s mission is being reviewed in order to promote increased co-operation within PS and further develop internal communication at KI.
  • A coordinated security function is established with the task of preparing, analysing and proactively assisting KI and KI's management in security matters.
  • A common facility management (FM) function is established for PS with maintained or improved service levels according to European standards.

Principles for further changes in the coming years

In the longer term, further changes may be needed within PS. Based on the objectives previously presented by Veronika Sundström, she emphasises three guiding principles for the development she wishes to see:

  • PS needs a smaller and more effective management team that can take responsibility for the whole and develop operational support based on common priorities.
  • With fewer offices responsible for their entire area of expertise within PS, coordination of operational support will be facilitated so that communication and support can be tailored to the needs of different target groups and the increasing demands of the outside world. 
  • Readiness to adapt the organisation of PS to changing circumstances that may result from the ongoing work in KI’s other strategic focus areas.

There is already a proposal to review the decentralised finance and HR functions within PS after 2025 and to launch a project to integrate KIB into GVS. 

More projects to develop KI's operational support as a whole

Preparations for sub-project II Coordinated support functions at department group level will begin in the autumn together with representatives from KI's departments.

"Organisation is not permanent, but a tool for achieving our goals and making it easier for managers and staff to do their work. A reorganisation is rarely perfect, but I believe that what we are doing now will lead to more cohesive and efficient operational support at KI as a whole," says Veronika Sundström. 

Outline timetable for sub-project I: Review of the organisation of KI:s Professional Services (PS)

Outline timetable for sub-project I: Review of the organisation of KI:s Professional Services (PS)
Step 1 March-May Initial workshop with managers in PS + KIB, TL and MHK.
Assignment to various groups within PS + KIB, TL and MHK for initial analyses.
Step 2 May Position on proposals to be taken forward for the in-depth work process.
June Policy decisions on the organisation of KIB, TL and MHK are taken by the President
Step 3 June-September Dialogue with affected staff, in-depth collaboration.
Step 4 October Decision and risk analysis.
Step 5 October-december Preparations for implementation 1 January 2025
2025-2026 Further steps to be identified based on needs in sub-projects in autumn
2025-2026 Subsequent and parallel sub-projects under assignment F1.