Published: 14-09-2023 17:05 | Updated: 14-11-2023 14:49

Two departments to become one at KI South

The university management has decided that the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut) is to be wound up and its activities merged with the Department of Medicine in Huddinge (MedH). The reorganisation is scheduled to be completed by 30 June 2024.

On 14 September the president made a policy decision that BioNut is to be wound up and its activities merged with MedH. The decision has been preceded by discussions with the Dean of KI South and the two departments’ management, and on 12 September the staff at BioNut and MedH were informed.

Historical reasons for BioNut’s financial deficit

The reason for the merger is that BioNut, for historical reasons, has been running at a loss for many years. The department is operating well today, and work is underway to reduce BioNut’s deficit in accordance with a previously decided plan of action. It has already achieved positive results, but the university management believes that the financial vulnerability will persist, which limits the BioNut’s development potential.

“KI needs strong, sustainable departments to continue growing as one university,” says President Annika Östman Wernerson.

MedH is judged to be well-positioned to receive and integrate the activities currently managed by BioNut. Apart from having a stable financial and management organisation, MedH is also close to BioNut, both physically and in terms of content.

The university management will support the merger financially

Ahead of the reorganisation, the university management will clear BioNut’s deficit with central funds. The move is not expected to have adverse financial or strategic consequences for MedH or for BioNut’s research groups, teaching or core facilities.

This is not the beginning of a general reorganisation but a one-off expedient. This solution for BioNut aims to create reasonable conditions for the future.

“We must handle the problems and challenges we see as one. The entire university must be strong in its research and education activities and financially sound. It is the responsibility and duty of the management to take necessary measures to resolve such structural problems as they arise – and KI must pull together in these efforts as one,” says Annika Östman Wernerson.

Next steps

Now that a policy decision has been made, the establishment of a schedule and a formal decision will follow.

A project will be initiated to support implementation. Dean KI South is appointed by the President to be in charge of the process with the close assistance of the two heads of department and their management. The Dean has the support of the University Director and other central offices.

The process will include risk assessment and collaboration, including with the unions. All affected staff will be involved and informed continually during the process.

About BioNut 

Head of Department: Janne Johansson

Administrative manager: Thomas Tinglöv

Part of KI South with Dean Maria Eriksdotter

  • Approximately 180 employees, comprising researchers, administrative and technical personnel.
  • Conducts research in the fields of experimental molecular sciences, bioinformatics and nutrition, and education in the fields of nutrition and molecular techniques. 

About MedH

Head of Department: Petter Höglund

Administrative manager: Klas Karlsson

Part of KI South with Dean Maria Eriksdotter

  • Approximately 500 employees, comprising researchers (unaffiliated), administrative and technical personnel.
  • Conducts education and basic, clinical and translational research in a broad internal medicine field.