Department head Henrik Høgh-Olesen is resigning

Head of the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Henrik Høgh-Olesen is resigning from his position in May when his employment contract expires. There are two reasons he wants to resign: First of all, he is eager to return to doing research - and second of all, he is frustrated with the new administrative model that he believes does not work.

[Translate to English:] Henrik Høgh-Olesen

Henrik Høgh-Olesen has been head of department for five years. The primary reason he has chosen to resign is that he does not think the administrative model at the university is working. The model operates with two parallel hierarchies, which he finds to be both too expensive and too time-consuming:

“As head of department I no longer have authority over the administrative system, which is supposed to be there to help us, not the other way around. The administrative staff are nice and skilled people, that’s not the problem. But they are subject to a completely different management system than the departments, and we no longer have the power to influence anything that goes on there. I can also see that the expenses towards the administration have significantly increased, but I don’t feel I am getting my money’s worth. These are the things that make me not want to do this any more. The first three years I was happy as head of department, but the new organisation has made it too difficult,” says Henrik Høgh-Olsen.

“Personally, I don’t function in a top down system – and I don’t believe top down management in a research institution is appropriate.  I am, however, happy about the financial model, because it allows us an overview of the revenue and expenses, but I would like to have more influence on the expenses that are imposed on the department – and the current organisation does not allow that.”

He is looking forward to returning to his research, where he will initiate a study of what is human and a comparative study of monkeys and human beings.

Moreover, he has an agreement with a publisher to write some new books. For instance, a book about the artistic expression of life: Why are are humans the only species that can produce art? And why do we have this need to express ourselves artistically? He is also getting started on a book about evil and tyranny and what causes it – what constitutes evil, and how can be even operate scientifically with such a category?

Henrik wishes the new management team at the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences all the best in the future.


Further information

Professor Henrik Høgh-Olesen
Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences
Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences


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