Dear colleagues,

We are three candidates running for temporary staff (Group B) in the University Board election this year. It is important that you use your right to vote, since all three of us – either as the main or deputy board members – will represent your interests in the highest decisions-making body at UiB. The deadline is tomorrow (28.05) at 12 pm. It is equally important that you make use of your representative coming year. Vote by logging in here.

I, Knut Melvær, run for the University Board because I am passionate about the two main things we do at the university: research and education. Even though I have not been a member of the University Board before, I have experience from both department- and facultyboards. What I think separates me from the other candidates is that I will be visible, accessible and consult you in matters even after the election. I'm available on e-mail, at my office or even twitter.

Finally, since this after all is an election campaign: it is even possible to change your vote prior the deadline.

Education and employment: MA in the Study of Religion, PhD fellow in the same subjects at AHKR, HF.

A fun-fact about yourself: I do not know how “fun” it is, but a “fact” is that I am very proud of my new podcast (u)dannet, which is a conversation with young researchers about a theme they know alot (only in Norwegian for now).

Why do you want to sit at the Board?

  • I was encouraged to. I think it’s because I’ve been active in university politics through STIP-HF (Association for PhD candidates at the Faculty of Humanities). It has been interesting and rewarding, and I think it is a good starting point to do a good job also at the Board.

  • I think it is important for university democracy that people actually have a choice. When I decided to ask was only one other from Group B that was reported.

  • Most importantly, I want to preserve and increase the standing and influence of temporary academic staff at the University of Bergen.

What you will especially make for your group if you are elected?
To represent Group B is a challenge because one person to represent a group that holds all the temporary academic staff from the university organization. Most of us have a relatively short career at the University of Bergen (we go on to other jobs after the defense), but there are also plenty of temporary teachers, post-docs and other posts that have an unpredictable working conditions. The situation for us in Group B probably varies faculty to faculty, but I think we all share interest in science and research.

With that in mind, I have the following items as a starting point:

  • Identify and compare the scope, challenges and opportunities for temporary scientific staff at the University of Bergen.

  • Making sure I actually represent opinions and attitudes in Group B. The goal is for “the lunch room sigh” will lead to an e-mail to me. Because many of these things actually can be improved.

  • I know it is not relevant to everyone, but I am passionate about teaching and instruction at the University. UiB should have a good educational / didactic courses, and have opportunities to teach also by their research interests. But with such a limited time, it should be good enough infrastructure that can focus on the academic and not administrative (although it can be a lot of valuable experience in the latter as well).

What are the main issues you will work on the Board?

  • Good communication in management, free of meaningless buzzwords (e.g. «quality», «dialogue», «synergy»).

  • PhD candidates with teaching duties should have a proper training for things outside research, particularly in terms of education. There are already some initiatives underway in the small round about, when it comes to using the experience base there that clear is missing.

  • Support and propose measures that will ensure that temporary academic staff from the University of Bergen are more attractive in the labor market, both in and outside the campus.

What three things should be changed at UiB?
I think UiB can be much clearer about the expectations placed on temporary staff, and not least, what expectations temporary staff may ask the University of Bergen.

There has been much talk about the digitization and dissemination both before and in the principal campaign. UiB should make it easier for us to actually have a go at this.

It is often claimed that “temporary hire must come down.” In a way this is not difficult to disagree with. That being said, it is sometimes a little unclear what this actually entails. UiB should increasingly provide qualified and skilled scientists permanent job, rather than letting them go between temporary jobs for many years. But one should also remember that for some a temporary post is ideal, either because they want to go on doing research elsewhere, or because you want to use the expertise in other jobs. This is just something I’d love to get more input on.