COLLEGIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Sahlgrenska Academy currently has some assignments that need staff to take on. It can be difficult to find candidates for assignments not involving research and education. For this reason, faculty management is encouraging more people to do their part in sharing collegial responsibility.
The assignments needing staff can be very important for Sahlgrenska Academy’s research or education. Sometimes they are also assignments for external authorities for which the University is requested to participate. Several times a year, the Ethics Review Authority requests a list of people with different scientific expertise who can be nominated as members.
Currently, the faculty is looking for people for the following assignments:
- Chair of the Committee on Sustainable Development in Sahlgrenska Academy’s undergraduate programs.
To register your interest, email email@example.com
- Three internal environmental auditors to audit environmental efforts in organizations other than their own faculty. This is an interesting assignment, that gives an opportunity to interact with people in other contexts and learn about their work.
To register your interest, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dean Agneta Holmäng fully understands that staff may feel unable to take on more work, making them reluctant to take on additional assignments. Even so, she believes that everyone needs to contribute in ensuring the Academy’s responsibilities are fulfilled and emphasizes the importance of sharing these responsibilities:
“It is important that it is not only a few staff members taking on multiple assignments. Assignments lead to many new contacts, expanding networks and, in the long run, potentially leading to new research collaborations. We need staff of all ages, especially younger researchers. Working with these types of assignments is not only a merit, it is also a way of getting to know the faculty. In my own experience, these assignments offer a stimulating break from other work and opportunities for gaining new insights into the faculty and the University.”
An opportunity for professional development
Many of researchers who have taken on various assignments within Sahlgrenska Academy describe this work as both interesting and instructive, and they do not consider it as particularly burdensome.
They have made some suggestions for ways of encouraging more researchers to participate. This includes allowing assignments to serve as qualifications for career advancement and to have an impact on salary increases.
Comments from four researchers who taken on different assignments
Toshima Parris, Thomas Carlsson, Gunilla Priebe and Khalil Helou describe how they have benefited personally from faculty-wide assignments. They also discuss ways of increasing interest among Sahlgrenska Academy staff in taking on these types of assignments.
Information and incentives
Toshima Parris helps Khalil Helou to investigate thesis plagiarism and is a member of the Advisory Board for Internationalization at the Institute of Clinical Sciences.
How do you benefit from these assignments? I have personally learned a lot about the Academy and how the organization works.
What do you think could increase interest so that more people would be willing to take on assignments? First of all, our colleagues need to be made aware that there is a need. A few years ago, I had no idea that researchers could take part in assignments for the Academy. I also think that many people need an incentive, such as the Academy paying part of their salary.
Interesting and instructive
Thomas Carlsson is an Academy-wide Director of PhD Studies.
How do you benefit from these assignments? You gain important knowledge and an understanding of how the Academy works, and you contribute to improving and taking responsibility for this work. And it is also very interesting, instructive and enjoyable.
What do you think could increase interest so that more people would be willing to take on assignments? Managers need to be more willing to give staff the opportunity of becoming involved in the work of the Academy, and we also need to promote greater awareness of collegial responsibility.
Gunilla Priebe is the outgoing chair of the Committee for the Integration of Sustainable Development in Undergraduate Education.
How do you benefit from these assignments? The great thing about assignments is meeting new people, who are often very creative and inspiring, and the assignments give you a break from your regular work. They create a sense of being part of a wider context, which research shows is something that promotes good health. As chair of the Committee for Sustainable Development in Undergraduate Education, I have also been a member of the Education Council, which has taught me a lot about the way in which the educational organization works.
What do you think could increase interest so that more people would be willing to take on assignments? Employees working in organizations with a strong sense of belonging to the group, where the work environment is not competitive in nature, are also more likely to take on sometimes rather burdensome assignments for the good of the organization. I also think that assignments should be considered by management when setting salary levels.
Stronger as a person
Khalil Helou is an Academy-wide Director of PhD Studies and a Member of the Council of PhD Education at the Institute of Clinical Sciences.
How do you benefit from these assignments? I have developed a lot, thanks to the assignments I have participated in. I take more responsibility and I discover new perspectives thanks to the assignments I work with. Routines are no longer part of daily life. There is always something new and challenging. I have learned a lot more about how the Academy works and have learned how to deal with various problems. I have become more confident in my decisions and am stronger as a person. My network has expanded, and many more researchers know who I am. The assignments have enriched me, so that I feel like I am a resource for the University, which is gratifying and encouraging.
What do you think could increase interest so that more people would be willing to take on assignments? To increase interest by more people in taking on assignments, it may be useful to inform about them and describe them as an opportunity for development and not as something that is burdensome. The regular workload should also be reduced by an equivalent amount as the new assignment.
BY: ELIN LINDSTRÖM