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Business as usual!

Since my last blog things has been dragging along as usual. Nevertheless, the work is by far not boring!  However, before I explore more about this topic I wish to convey the happy news that Sofia Ritzén has been promoted to a professor at the Departemnt of Machine Design and that Torskel Strömstedt has  been appointed as a guest professor at the Department of Industrial Economy.

Now back to my comments on the recruitment work. It is important to stay concentrated in order to not miss important details, which will slow down the recruitment process. For example, the process for recruiting new faculty involves communication with many people. Here, it is extremely important that me, Anton Lagerbäck and Gülten Baysal communicate on a regular basis. They, in turn, communicate with the department heads and administrative responsible persons at the department. Also, as I mentioned in my previous blogs the contacts with experts and the interviews are organized centrally at KTH. Recently the people working with recruitments on the KTH level have received a much increased work load due to a larger demand of recruiting new faculty. Here, our school currently has the largest recruitment needs among the schools: This is partly due to the hiring of the new faculty in Södertälje, where we now are recruiting eight new teachers.

Due to the large number of positions being advertised from the ITM school this year, we need to set up many interviews with the best candidates for respective position. This has been shown to be much more difficult than expected. After all candidates are known we select a chair person, a representant from the department and a teacher representant. Thereafter, this committee selects one woman and one man, with no conflicts of interests with the candidates, from the list of experts that have been made before submitting the proposal to KTH. Then, KTH will have to approve these experts before sending them out the applications to the experts.

As we have seen recently it is quite common that some of the experts are delayed with their feedbacks, which makes it harder for us to proceed to the next step of the recruitment process. Here, we have a lesson to learn to carefully consider if a suggested expert is a person that actually will have the time to complete a review in time. This is not only a problem at KTH, but also at other universities. Therefore, one university has recently started to give experts a bonus if they come in with their answers before the deadline. Personally, I believe that this is a pretty clever idea since a faster answer as well as an answer received at a made deadline makes it easier for us to plan the latter part of the recruitment process!

The last example I wish to bring up is the setting up of a date for the interview of the selected candidates. Here, typically the 3 to 5 most qualified candidates, including at least one man and one woman, are selected for the final interview. Here, the rules are such that we need to have three people present in the committee, whereof at least one man and one woman, and at least one of the two experts needs to be present at the interview. Due to our faculties heavily booked agendas, this has been shown to be a real obstacle to enable a fast hiring process. Thus, even if we carefully select a recruitment committee, we will in most cases have to exchange one member in order to keep a date already set for an interview. Even today when I am writing this blog I am desperately seeking a member for an interview on April 27. So, as I stated in the beginning even if it is business as usual, the work is not boring!

Pär Jönsson, Vice Dean