Local Herning citizen becomes head of AU Herning

The new head of AU Herning has been appointed. As of June 1 professor Jacob Kjær Eskildsen will take up office as head of department. 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 knows his way around the local area.

2014.05.02 | Winnie Axelsen

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.

- Part of my 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 establish 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.

Jacob Kjær Eskildsen used to work at the hospital in Herning, among other places, and his work experience from before he was employed at Aarhus University has contributed to shaping his research projects over the years, most of which have been conducted in collaboration with various companies. 

Insight and understanding

The chairman of AU Herning’s external council, Helge Sander, has the following to say about Jacob Kjær Eskildsen's appointment as the new head of AU Herning:

- I have had the privilege of collaborating with the current head of AU Herning Michael Evan Goodsite, who has managed to establish a strong research environment in a very short amount of time. And I am very confident that Jacob Kjær Eskildsen will handle the job exceptionally well. He has the right amount of insight and understanding of the area of Central and Western Jutland, of the university world and the department itself that is required in order to continue the work to heighten the quality of the department’s research-based programmes and develop the collaboration with the companies in the area, says Helge Sander, chairman of the External Council at AU Herning.

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, which includes five mayors, the chairman of the regional council and representatives from the local business community, among others.

Will continue along the same path

- 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 core areas that we want to excel in, building the foundation from the bottom up, and we are already well on our way, says the future head of department.

The resigning head of department, Michael Evan Goodsite, has the following to say about his successor:

- 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.

17 years at Aarhus University

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 professor. After 17 years at Aarhus University and growing up in Herning he knows both the university and Herning very well.

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.