Allan Würtz has been reappointed as head of the Department of Economics and Business

In his second term as head of department, Allan Würtz wants to further consolidate and support the department and the employees in their aspirations towards offering high quality degree programmes and do ground-breaking research.

On 1 June 2014, Allan Würtz begins his second term as head of the Department of Economics and Business and has signed another three-year contract. Allan Würtz earned his PhD degree from the University of Iowa in 1996 and has an MSc in Economics from Aarhus University, which he completed in 1993. He has been head of the department since 1 July 2011, and before that he was associate professor and director of studies at the School of Economics and Management. He has taught a range of subjects from within the fields of financial science. Allan Würtz was first employed at Aarhus University in 1997, and he has also worked at the University of New South Wales and the University of Copenhagen. Apart from that, he has been Visiting Fellow at Princeton University and Australian National University.

Degree programmes of high academic and educational standards

On an annual basis, the employees at the Department of Economics and Business contribute to the education and supervision of more than 4000 students. Allan Würtz has a strong sense of responsibility towards giving the students a high-standard education that can help the students towards exciting careers. He is strongly aware that the faculty are the only ones who can make that happen, and he is therefore also dedicated to providing inspirational working conditions for them.

“A high academic level is prerequisite for a good education,” says Allan Würtz. “It’s essential that we maintain a high academic level in order to make sure that we are giving the students long-lasting qualifications. So, despite the fact that some reforms in the area of education may tempt us to lower our academic standards, also in light in the fragile financial situation, together with my colleagues at the department I will be working hard to make sure that all changes in our programmes are only for the better, both in terms of the academic content and the educational approaches.”

Inspiring research environment

In order to be able to offer high-standard research-based degree programmes, the department also needs an attractive research environment. According to Allan Würtz, one of the most essential tasks that a head of department is faced with is to establish a strong foundation for a successful research environment. “In a successful research environment you are able to go with the flow and test your ideas, and you inspire each other through close interaction,” says Allan Würtz.

But in order to uphold an environment such as this, you need diversity. To this end, he wants to continue the expansion of an international research environment with colleagues of many different nationalities and educational backgrounds. Diversity in terms of the employees’ experience and age may also contribute to generating new ideas and, not least, bring them to fruition. Accordingly, the department will continue to recruit and nurture the numerous young researchers through the PhD programme, and Allan Würtz would like to further develop this area over the course of the next three years.

Three more years

When asked why he chose to reapply for the position as head of department, he answers evasively: “I find that the many areas of research that the department’s employees are working on are exceptionally interesting and relevant to our society. Even though I don’t contribute to the academic areas myself, it’s a great honour for me to be able to take on the role of supporting the aspirations of my colleagues. The last three years have taught me that this is a role I really would like to take on for a while longer. I got a strong sense of satisfaction when a course was successful or when cracking a tough nut in my research – but now I gain a lot from being able to help my colleagues and enable them towards a similar sense of satisfaction with their work. And I definitely share their frustration when they aren’t successful in their endeavours,” he concludes with a crooked smile.