CBS focuses significant efforts on the study boards

Skrevet af Niklas Frijs-MadsenFelix Kasperek, translation - Foto: Anders Meldgård Kjemtrup - 21. marts 2013 - 16:240 kommentarer
CBS Students had arranged a quick round of speed-dating for the participants of the study board seminar. Click on the red arrow to see more pictures.

As the first university in Denmark, CBS has arranged for the university’s study boards to do teambuilding skill upgrading. Last week, more than 160 members of CBS’ study boards were gathered for a historic seminar.

CBS Students highlighted the source of the idea
- The idea for the seminar came from conversations with CBS Students. We have to create a more transparent foundation for the study boards so we can use them more actively to improve the programs, Jan Molin explained, highlighting the fact that the seminar was the result of collaboration between CBS and CBS Students.

The opening speeches from the Dean of Education and CBS Students’ president and vice president, Philip Hardø and Charlotte Gjedde included intentions of even closer collaboration and commitment to the study boards.

The LO-school in Helsingør, the location of the intensive two-day seminar had been decorated with roll-ups and flyers from CBS Students who took the opportunity to make the student-political organization’s role in the seminar clear to the members of the study boards.

- We hope and expect this seminar to create value for CBS – value from improved collaboration between employees and student volunteers, value from increased transparency of roles and opportunities in the study board and value for the 20,000 students and many employees who attend/work at CBS, said Charlotte Gjedde, BSc. Soc.-student and newly elected vice president about her hopes for the seminar.

Valuable teambuilding and networking
After the opening speeches, a quick overview of the agenda and a bite to eat, time had been dedicated for everyone to introduce themselves and speed-date.

- An important element in the thoughts behind the seminar was to give the study board members the opportunity to meet each other in a less formal environment that could foster their common understanding and a better collaborative culture, says CBS Students president Philip Hardø and emphasizes:

- There’s a strong collaborative culture in most study boards, but some students experience it being hard to get ideas and initiatives off the ground, before establishing a relationship with their colleagues in the study board.

The Dean of Education could confirm this, and told CBS OBSERVER’s representative that he’d heard from several students that they’d spent more time talking to the other study board members and their lecturers at the seminar than they’d done in the entirety of their time at CBS.

- It gives them an entirely different feeling of community and leads to a better foundation for future discussion and work, Jan Molin said.

More transparency and better communication
A recurring theme of the seminar was the desire for better communication between the study boards and the students of the respective programs. In a plenary discussion about which of the pressing issues should be handled, a sea of study board member hands marked agreement with the fact that the current communication just isn’t good enough.

Philip Hardø reminded the participants and CBS’ management that better communication with the students about the strategic challenges was guaranteed by the new management codex for student involvement.

- I want a discussion about a more effective and transparent communication between all the involved parties, said Dean of Education Jan Molin about the overall goals of the seminar.

The participants of the seminar had many interesting suggestions for how effective communication could be achieved, including the study boards’ use of Facebook and newsletters as well as more solid feedback on how the course evaluations are used by the study board.

Operation Student Life resorted to stereotyping
A significant point on the agenda was Operation Student Life. It’s a new initiative at CBS where a task force consisting of representatives of CBS’ administrative and scientific employees as well as CBS Students.

- In order to facilitate the decision making process regarding student life at CBS, it’s necessary to understand the students, said Andreas Gjedde, third-year student of the B.Sc. BA program and co-project manager of Operation Student Life.

A number of student stereotypes were presented on a video with entertaining acting from real students. Overambitious CV-padders, stress-victims and expectation-driven students, socially oriented students and academically challenged stragglers were just some of the stereotypes included in the video.

Where some study boards have problems with stress and grade-struggles, others had problems getting the students involved. The stereotypes where discussed thoroughly. There was a lot of support for the identification of the different student groups and a correspondingly large doubt about how to
deal with the challenges they bring with them.

The conclusion of the video and the subsequent discussion was that the task force behind Operation Student Life was to continue working with the many contributions that had been gathered at the seminar. The work should result in a report with recommendations to how CBS can provide the best support for student life on campus, so it supports the different students’ needs.

Historic ambitions and low-hanging fruits
With a total cost of almost kr. 300,000 the seminar was an ambitious venture. It was the first of its kind – not just at CBS but in Denmark too.

Just as organizations and companies gather for strategic development seminars and knowledge-sharing events across different divisions, CBS has invested heavily on the work in the different study boards.

- The participants have shared lots of little ideas and initiatives across the programs. Some study boards have spotted some low-hanging fruits that it’s somewhat surprising that they hadn’t used or known of before, Dean of Education Jan Molin said, and also mentions the fact that a consensus was reached among the many lecturers present:

- It’s great to note that we have a lot of positive, smart and productive students - what the result of the seminar will be, in terms of bigger initiatives, Jan Molin wanted to wait with discussing because he wanted to give the different task forces time to work first.

The value of a change of scenery
The lecturers weren’t the only ones that appreciated the seminar:

- I’ve heard from a lot of study board members that they’re extremely happy to get to go in-depth with some of the subjects that are usually missed on the busy schedule of the study boards, where pre-approvals and exemption processing often get in the way of new initiatives, says Alexandra Ørnfelt, project manager for the study boards for CBS Students.

Alexandra Ørnfelt, currently a second year B.Sc. BA (Psyk) student, emphasized the value of the signal that’s sent by organizing the seminar for the scientific and administrative employees as well as the elected students, and the fact that it’s been planned and organized by members of all three groups.

New tradition for the study boards of CBS
According to CBS Students president Philip Hardø, the best thing that happened at the seminar was:

- The most important thing that happened at the seminar was the seminar itself. In addition to all the important input that’s been offered, CBS has signaled that the university is committed to the study board work, to ensuring quality and the essential student involvement that we know create results. It calls for a repeat next year!

- I don’t think anyone expects this to not be repeated. We need to go through the budget negotiations for 2014 but I haven’t heard anyone say that the seminar was a bad idea, said Dean of Education Jan Molin about the CBS Students president’s vision of a recurrence.

And with that, it seems a new tradition has been created at CBS.