Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, Rector of the University of Iceland, announced to her staff at an open meeting recently that she would not run for the post of rector when her second term of five years would end 1 July next year. Ingólfsdóttir was first elected in 2005. University laws and regulation do not limit the time a person can stay in office, Ingólfsdóttir, however, said that 10 years was the maximum time both for the university and the rector.
Ingólfsdóttir said it important for the university to regularly renew its policy and evaluate priorities and cited current challenges. The highlights are to strengthen operational funding, increase interdisciplinary co-ordination within the university and collaboration with Icelandic society, place emphasis on innovation for the community, promote teacher education and develop new methods in teaching at the University of Iceland. Ingólfsdóttir mentioned that the nature of many programmes was changing; involving new emphasis and demands, e.g. increased knowledge in mathematics in human and social sciences as well as increased knowledge of information technology in many subjects within in life and health sciences.
Ingólfsdóttir mentioned the important contribution of geoscientists at the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Meteorological Office in the ongoing volcanic eruption and accompanying seismic activity. This is not only an important contribution to science, but also to the community at large, as they are communicating important information to the public through the press and social media, as well as consulting with the Civil Protection in Iceland.
The Rector also talked about recent agreements made between the University of Iceland with international universities in the United States, Australia and China, and the opportunities they create for both students and staff. New contracts with Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin offer University students the possibility of taking part of their studies at these universities without paying tuition. These agreements offer similar opportunities as the ones made with Stanford University, the University of California and Caltech. Ingólfsdóttir specially mentioned the recent contract with Tsinghua University in China, a university often compared to MIT in the United States. The agreement opens up new possibilities for UI students in Chinese and many other programmes to take part of their studies in Tsinghua.
Kristín Ingólfsdóttir concluded the open meeting with UI staff by saying that it has been a privilege to serve as rector and get to observe the ambition, work ethic, drive and results of employees in teaching and science in difficult circumstances. A united will and ambition to best serve Icelandic community was the guiding light. Ingólfsdóttir said that she would endeavour to ensure sufficient funding for the future including new ways in fund raising. All efforts would be made to secure a bright future for the new rector and the University community.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 14:00