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The “Niagara Review” project

2017-12-21

NIAGARA. Last spring, Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham made the decision to create a review plan for Niagara, with the purpose of creating a more sustainable work environment in the building. After the weekend, all heads of departments with activities in Niagara will be invited to a meeting with the project and steering groups. The project group will present different possible solutions by February 2018.

Last spring, Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham made the decision to create a review plan for Niagara, with the purpose of creating a more sustainable work environment in the building. The University’s academic environment should be designed in a way that supports education, research and administration. Two working groups are involved in the review: one steering group led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Per Hillbur, and one project group led by Property Manager Mats Lyberg. The project group will present different possible solutions by February 2018. The upcoming renovations will form part of a separate project. 

Background

In a work environment survey conducted before and after the move to Niagara, by the Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies, the research centre found that the work environment in Niagara did not sufficiently support the activities currently carried out in the house, hence the need for this review. It is essential that the review project builds on this previous work, using material and comments collected in the earlier processes, as well as creating further dialogue about solutions to the issues in the house today.

Autumn 2017

This autumn, the project group has been documenting the situation in Niagara, speaking with staff and students and working to create detailed suggestions for work environments that support the departments’ development.

One important principle to come out of this work is the need to find long term, flexible solutions for the building, in order to serve organisational needs for an ever-changing future. At present, the University is in an expansive phase, and the balance between receiving more employees and building an attractive and sustainable environment is a challenge.

According to the plan, the project group has now started to complete proposal outlines for different inspirational environments, and the idea is that these will help shape institutions’ and departments’ visions and plans regarding attractive and well-functioning work environments for employees and students.

Meeting with the heads of departments

After the weekend, all heads of departments with activities in Niagara will be invited to a meeting with the project and steering groups. At the meeting, they will have the opportunity to present their thoughts on visions for Niagara, and on creating a sustainable environment at every level of the University organisation. At the meeting, the project group will present the work they conducted during the autumn, in order to make it possible for the heads of departments to take the next step by drawing up a schedule for the implementation of changes on the different floor plans.

"It is important to participate in the activities related to the proposed changes, and since the goal is to find long-term, sustainable solutions, it is also important to trust the process and the time it takes to do this together," says Per Hillbur.

“We believe that we have a good basis for continuing this process and look forward to concretising the plans for Niagara as an important part of our new university,” he concludes.