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Head of Department Letter February 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back to a new semester! And a particularly warm welcome to the Division of Astrophysics, which has recently moved into Fysicum. I hope you will enjoy your stay and feel welcome here with us!

The management of the Physics Department, that is, Martin Magnusson, Erik Swietlicki and I, have now started to get started with our new tasks. Martin continues as director of studies for the undergraduate programme and Erik monitors the research front. 

My ambition is to ensure that we continue to have a successful organisation and a stimulating working environment.  I have not only Erik and Martin to help me, but also a well-functioning departmental office and experienced heads of department. They all make sure that most things work, even when Primula is down or projectors cause headaches. This is a great support for me as a new head of department. Thanks to all of you who help make the department work in big and small ways!

The second most common question I get right now, after "can you sign here?", is how it feels to start as a new head of department. I still don't have a good answer to that but feel free to ask me again next year. 

In my previous role as Deputy Head of Department, I was aware that there was a lot going on under the surface, invisible to anyone not directly involved. Now I am beginning to realise the extent of the work that is actually being done in the department and have learned to appreciate the strength of all the staff, who are doing their best to hold the department together.  And also about the strength of our former Head of Department, thanks again, Achim! 

In my role as Head of Department, I have also gained a better understanding of processes at the faculties and Lund University centrally and how much help there is to be had if you just ask. The management of the Faculty of Science is newly appointed, and there are also those in LTH's management who are new to their roles. Already now, after our first meetings with them, it is clear that the faculties' managements have lots of ideas and questions for us. The management of the Faculty of Science has promised to present itself at a Mötesplats Rydberg sometime after Easter, and I hope that we also get a visit from the LTH management during the year, so that everyone has the opportunity to ask more questions.

There will always be challenges, and some of the ones we will face over the next three years are already known. We have been tasked with preparing a five-year financial plan to be submitted by the end of March. Although this work is not yet finalised, we already know that the economy will become more difficult in the coming years. At the same time, we will continue our efforts to strengthen and develop our research and teaching. How to manage this will be one of the biggest challenges for the department and its management. Do you have any good suggestions? Please come by the head of department's office during the reception hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and let's also meet at Mötesplats Rydberg!

Else Lytken
Head of Department