Published: 02-09-2016 15:10 | Updated: 03-09-2016 08:14

Lars Leijonborg resigns as chairman of Karolinska Institutet

Lars Leijonborg resigns the chair of Karolinska Institutet, he announced Friday 2 September.

“I have notified Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson that I wish to resign as chairperson of the Karolinska Institutet board. My term of office expires in eight months’ time on 30 April but I deem it best that a new chairperson take over already this autumn,” he writes in an official statement. He continues:

“Last spring the board took a number of decisions that were needed to lay the foundation of a fresh start for KI after the Macchiarini affair (an internal investigation led by Sten Heckscher, new management, more stringent internal audits, etc). The inquiry into KI’s handling of the Macchiarini case will be presented on Monday. This seems an appropriate occasion for me to hand over to someone else.”

“There is no longer the same need for continuity of chairmanship that there was when the former vice chancellor and other members of the KI management resigned. Even if the board may not interfere in any way with matters of research and therefore cannot be held directly accountable for the Macchiarini affair, there is much in the surrounding systems that must be changed. Here, the board naturally has considerable responsibility. I feel it best that someone else with more time and the ability to commit to beyond April 2017 be appointed chairperson for the period of necessary transition underpinned by Heckscher’s report. Whether the board and I should have acted differently during our tenure will have to be decided once the report has been made public.”

He closes:

“Later this autumn or winter a new vice chancellor will be appointed for the next six years. On this count too it would seem natural for the recruitment to be led by someone who can be expected to occupy the chair for a longer time.”