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Local Herning citizen becomes head of AU Herning

In June Professor Jacob Kjær Eskildsen takes up office as the new head of AU Herning. He was born and raised in Herning and holds a degree from AU Herning, from when it was known as Midtjysk Handelshøjskolecenter. So it is safe to say that Michael Evan Goodsite's successor as head of the department certainly knows his way around the local area.

2014.05.01 | Winnie Axelsen

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen in front of AU Herning.

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen knows what he is getting into with his new position at AU Herning. He spent his childhood roaming the streets of Herning, he went to high school in Herning and in the early 1990s he took the BSc in Economics and Business Administration in Herning. In 2006 he became a member of AU Herning's advisory board, and in the beginning of 2013 he was appointed professor at the department.

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen has an MSc in Economics and Business Administration and has been employed at Aarhus University since 1997. He began his research career as a PhD student at the former Aarhus School of Business, and ten years later, in 2008, he was appointed a professorship. He knows AU and the department in Herning pretty well.

Will continue along the same path

- My primary job as head of department is to continue to strengthen the department’s relations with the business community and to secure the quality of our research-based degree programmes. AU Herning is a really exciting place to be, especially because of our close collaboration with the business community, which we will continue to develop and expand. We need to develop an even closer relationship with the companies in the area, and we are already working towards this by involving small, medium-sized and larger businesses in Central and Western Jutland in the students’ and researchers’ various projects, says Jacob Kjær Eskildsen and proceeds:

- What is of central importance at AU Herning is that we continue to nurture the flourishing research environment that has been established over the past few years. We will continue down the path that was laid out by Michael Evan Goodsite during his term as head of department. And then we need to get started on defining the four core areas that we want to excel in, building the foundation from the bottom up, and we are already well on our way.

Ensuring cohesion

Apart from the collaboration with the business community and the work to ensure the quality of the research-based degree programmes, Jacob Kjær Eskildsen emphasises yet another crucial task that consists of ensuring the internal cohesion at AU Herning.

- Following the accreditation processes and the budget process, AU Herning needs peace and quiet to work and regain a strong foothold. It is important to revive the employees’ enthusiasm and joy of working, which naturally have taken a tumble in these challenging times, explains Jacob Kjær Eskildsen and emphasises that he is looking forward to taking on the various challenges that he will be faced with as soon as he takes up office as head of department.

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen is already in the process of taking over some of the tasks, and he has taken part in the second meeting of AU Herning’s external council chaired by Helge Sander.

The right person in charge

- It was definitely the right choice to make Jacob Kjær Eskildsen head of AU Herning. I'm pleased that I get to work closely with Jacob over the next month to familiarise him properly with the job, and hopefully I can contribute to giving him a good first few months as head of department. I wish Jacob and AU Herning all the best, says Michael Evan Goodsite, the resigning head of AU Herning.

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen is 44 years old, is married to Susanne and they have two boys of 13 and 16. The family lives in Beder south of Aarhus. In his spare time, Jacob Kjær Eskildsen plays a lot of sports, and he is currently into tennis and weight training.

Michael Evan Goodsite’s contract expires on 31 May after which he will assume his duties as head of a major department at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, which is closer to his home and his family. As of 1 June Jacob Kjær Eskildsen will be head of AU Herning.

On Friday 23 May at 13:00-15:00, AU Herning will be host to an inaugural and farewell reception to celebrate the new and resigning heads of AU Herning. All employees, partners and stakeholders are invited to attend the reception.

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