In April 2021, the Academic Council directed incisive criticism at Senior Management and the CBS Board of Directors in its annual spring report. In brief, they criticized the lack of involvement of staff, faculty and students during a year characterized by sweeping strategy development while a pandemic raged.
Since then, the chairmanships of the CBS Board and Academic Council have been working on improving relations – most recently at the Academic Council’s two-day seminar from October 11 to 12, explains Kristian Miltersen, Chair of Academic Council.
“The meeting, and its aim, was certainly a good way to improve relations – and I cannot deny that relations during 2020, in particular, were not optimal, as reflected in our report to the board about the year 2020,” he writes in an email to CBS WIRE.
At the seminar the Chair of the CBS Board of Directors, Torben Möger Pedersen, was invited to share his reflections on a handful of questions regarding his motivation for taking up the position, his ambitions, and the role of the Board and Academic Council in relation to each other. Members of the Academic Council too had been asked to reflect on similar questions and share their reflections.
“It was quite reassuring to hear that his ambitions to a great extent align closely with our ambitions in the Academic Council, which we really appreciate,” Kristian Miltersen writes and continues:
“Torben Möger Pedersen articulated a number of ambitions and priorities for CBS. He was very clear about the importance of research and freedom of research both as a necessity to be able to educate students in order to provide them with capabilities and skills for the future, for example transformational capabilities, but also to promote creativity in society more generally via more direct dissemination of our research.”
And are you satisfied with his reflections on the role of the CBS Board and Academic Council in relation to each other?
“We talked more about ambitions than roles. The rules of the game are largely determined by the University Act. However, Torben Möger Pedersen acknowledged and appreciated the Academic Council’s deep insight into the thinking of the faculty, students, and the other groups of employees at CBS. Moreover, he articulated a clear understanding that without the employees’ and the students’ support, the board will get nowhere. We were very happy to hear that,” writes Kristian Miltersen.
CBS WIRE reached out to Torben Möger Pedersen and asked him, firstly, what important points he thought should be made to the Academic Council at the meeting, secondly whether, in hindsight, he would have done anything differently in 2020 to avoid the criticism, and lastly, what will be important for the collaboration moving forward.
Torben Möger Pedersen declined an interview on the subject of the meeting.
Continued closer dialogue
The Academic Council works as an advisory board for the Senior Management, and therefore gives input and feedback to the management on various topics concerning the Council. Since around 2015, the formal dialogue, however, has been limited to two elements, according to Kristian Miltersen.
He explains that the Academic Council writes an annual report to the board and then typically four members of the council present the report at a board meeting. Before 2015, the chair of the CBS Board also visited the Academic Council once a year. Typically, with the purpose of giving the CBS Board’s collective response to our annual report.
Now, the chairs of various organs at CBS will meet more regularly.
“In 2021, we have also initiated bi-annual meetings of CBS Board’s, the Academic Council’s and General Consultation Committee’s chairs, along with the president of CBS to improve the dialog between us,” writes Kristian Miltersen and points out what he hopes will be the outcome of the meeting.
“Continued closer dialogue and an even stronger CBS both in terms of research and education.”