Unions Critical of Former Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson

Unions Critical of Former Vice-Chancellor Per Eriksson

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@Carl-Johan Kullving
Sebastian Persson is Lund University Student Unions Association's Vice President, Oskar Styf, is the Lund University Student Unions Association's President. Photo: Jonas Jacobson.

During the days before the Christmas Holidays, former Vice-chancellor, Per Eriksson, digressed from the University’s standard work procedures, by singlehandedly making serveral important decision. Lund University Student Unions are critical of the fact that student insights into the matter were not considered.

Sebastian Persson is Lund University Student Unions' Vice President, Oskar Styf, is the Lund University Student Unions' President.  Photo: Jonas Jacobson.
Sebastian Persson is Lund University Student Unions’ Vice President, Oskar Styf, is the Lund University Student Unions’ President.
Photo: Jonas Jacobson.

By the turn of the year, Per Eriksson concluded his Vice-Chancellor mandate at the University. However, a few days prior to the Christmas holidays, he managed to make a series of crucial decisions, about which the student unions were not informed.

“This is very serious, as it violates the decree stipulating that the students should gain insights into the decisions made by the University and the Vice-chancellor,” says Sebastian Persson Lund University Student Unions’ Vice President.
“One week, management says that they are solicitous about student influence, and then this occurs the following week. It shows a double standard resulting in a crisis of trust between the University and the student unions,” says Lund University Student Union President, Oskar Styf.

Were Informed
Resigning Vice-chancellor, Per Eriksson, does not share the view of Lund University Student Unions.
“The student unions were informed about the decision taking place. Our ways of allocating donation foundation funds are matters into which they don’t usually have any insight,” he says.
But does it not seem a bit strange that the Vice-chancellor is making several decisions in one weekend before the Christmas holidays?
“I was working until the last minute, trying to sustain dialogs about the decisions at an earlier stage. We don’t always agree on all matters, nor are we required to do so.”
The Unions claim that this damages the trust between the unions and University management. Any comments on that?
“I don’t understand that. I have brought up the fact that these decisions have been underway. As for the decisions concerning distributions of donation foundation funds, we’ve never discussed that being brought up on committee meetings before,” says Per Eriksson.

Per Eriksson, former Vice-Chancellor at Lund University. Photo: Archive.
Per Eriksson, former Vice-Chancellor at Lund University.
Photo: Archive.

Rejection by the Unions
One of the decisions made by Per Eriksson was the appointment of Pär Omling, who is visiting professor and previous GM at the Swedish Research Council, as well as the allocation of 300,000 SEK for promoting Lund University in the Nordea Masters golf tournament in 2014.
Lund University Student Unions do not share the view of having been informed about the six decisions.
“We don’t share Per Eriksson’s view of us having been informed about theses decisions,” says Sebastian Persson.

Difficult to Cancel
The University procedures stipulate that students participate in the decisions made by the Univeristy.
“We have to review the different cases to find out whether any errors were committed. For instance, there may be cases concerning staff about which the student unions were not informed, but in general, the student unions are supposed to be informed,” says Head of Administration, Susanne Kristensson.
When will you review these issues?
“The new Vice-chancellor and I were talking about that this morning [i.e. a few days ago], and we thought it would be suitable to arrange an independent review. Nothing is settled yet, but by next week, I hope we know what to do. The time frame depends on which type of review is relevant.”
Is it possible to cancel these decisions?
“I haven’t seen the actual decisions myself, so it is difficult to tell. However, it depends. If it is a positive management decision on a certain subject matter, it can’t be changed. But we will have a look at it,” Susanne Kristensson.

Text: Carl-Johan Kullving
Translation: Maximilian Aleman-Tennell

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