Thursday, 27 February 2014

A Mighty Rumble in Swedish Academia as Top Management Fight at Uppsala University Resolves

Today, the board of Uppsala University, one of Sweden's top four broad universities and its oldest – instigated in 1477 – declared full confidence for its Vice Chancelor, Eva Åkesson, after an open declaration of no confidence from 11 chaired professors, deans and vice rectors (3). This has been the "talk of the town" around Swedish academia the last few weeks.

Already, one of the three vice rector is reported to have resigned, and the Uppsala daily, Uppsala Nya Tidning, reports that all of them have handed in resignations and expressed "shock" at the decision, but at least one of the deans who signed the no confidence letter is reported to comment that he wants to continue. It remains to be seen how the rest of the signing parties will react.

The content of the conflict and crisis of confidence remains somewhat mysterious, but today's press conference delivered hints at both procedural and personal difficulties. Earlier information has referred to more substantial disagreements regarding budgetary and organisational issues as being part of the conflict as well.