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Örebro University Board

The University Board is a university’s highest decision-making body. Under the Higher Education Act, the board shall “supervise all of the university’s operations and assume responsibility for the fulfilment of the university’s mandate.”

Eight members, including the chairperson of the board, are appointed by the government and represent public interests. Full members of the board are also the vice-chancellor, three faculty representatives and three student representatives. Staff representatives (union representatives) have the right to attend and speak at the university board meetings, as does the internal auditor and other members of university management.

Presentation of board members

Lars Haikola, Chairperson
Lars Haikola is the chairperson of the University Board at Örebro University since 1 March 2019.
He defended his doctoral thesis on Ludwig Wittgenstein in philosophy of religion in 1977.
Lars Haikola’s first managerial position was as head of the School of Theology at Lund University. Later he was appointed vice-chancellor of the Teacher Training College in Malmö and later as vice-chancellor at Blekinge Institute of Technology and Campus Helsingborg (Lund University). He also led the merger of Växjö University and the University of Kalmar, which today form Linnaeus University.
Between 2010–2014, Lars Haikola was Chancellor and head of the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKA). Born in 1947.

Johan Schnürer, Vice-Chancellor
Professor Johan Schnürer is vice-chancellor of Örebro University since 1 July 2016. Prior appointments were as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Education and Collaboration at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) at Uppsala between 2010–2016 and head of the Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology (SLU) between 1996–2010. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Sciences from Uppsala University. Johan Schnürer obtained his PhD at SLU in 1985 within soil microbiology. He was appointed docent in 1988 and in 2000, professor of microbiology at SLU. Johan Schnürer’s research has dealt with foodborne microfungi. He has supervised more than a dozen doctoral students, published 114 research articles and owns several patents. Born in 1957.
Read more about Johan Schnürer’s research.

Representatives of the public interest

Jonas Albertson, CTO, Epiroc Group and CEO, Epiroc Rock Drills AB
Jonas Albertson has an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology. A member of Epiroc’ group management since 2020, he has previously had several leading positions at Atlas Copco. Jonas Albertson lives in Örebro. Born in 1967.

Kerstin Lindberg Göransson, Chair of the Board, Sveaskog AB
Kerstin Lindberg Göransson has an MSc in Business and Economics and is chair of the board of Sveaskog AB. She is also a board member of Alecta Fastigheter AB and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). She was CEO of Akademiska hus for nearly ten years. She has also been Airport Director at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport as well as CFO and Deputy CEO of the Scandic Group. Born in 1956.

Oddrun Samdal, Professor, University of Bergen, Norway
Oddrun Samdal obtained her PhD in 1999 and since 2007, she is professor of health promotion and health psychology at University of Bergen, Norway. Her research interests include school as pupils’ work environment, health promotion at school, and physical activity in children and adolescents. Born in 1967.

Rickard Simonsson, CEO, Region Örebro County
Rickard Simonsson has been CEO of the regional health authority Region Örebro County since 2011. Prior to that, he held the position as chief financial officer at Örebro County Council. He has also worked for the investment company Kommuninvest and Örebro Municipality. Born in 1968.

Mats Tysklind, Professor, Umeå University
Mats Tysklind is professor of environmental chemistry at the Department of Chemistry at Umeå University. His research is focused on the environmental behaviour of both legacy and new pollutants. Special research interests include contamination of soil and water, and he also studies the transportation, transformation and biological uptake of environmental pollutants. Born in 1956.

Cissi Billgren Askwall, Secretary General of VA
Cissi Billgren Askwall is Secretary General of VA (Public and Science), a non-profit membership organisation promoting dialogue and openness between researchers and the public.
She has previously been head of communications at VA and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, principal secretary of the government report Kulturnät Sverige, and subsequently project manager of the Kulturnätet project. She has also worked as a journalist at Swedish Radio.
Cissi Billgren Askwall has a degree in journalism and has also studied political science, psychology and theology. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry’s research committee, vice president of the European Science Engagement Association and chair of the Stockholm Diocesan Council. She was born in 1966.

Sari Ponzer, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Karolinska Institutet
Sari Ponzer is Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Karolinska Institutet and Head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Södersjukhuset Hospital, Stockholm. She is also the Director of Research, Education, Development and Innovation at Södersjukhuset Hospital.
Sari Ponzer has been involved in the reform of both the undergraduate medical programme and the nursing programme at Karolinska Institutet. She has led a number of pedagogical projects and has worked as lecturer, supervisor and course director within undergraduate medical education. She has held various leading posts at Karolinska Institutet, among them head of school and dean of education.
Her research focuses orthopaedics, mainly trauma including osteoporosis injuries, but she also conducts research in medical pedagogics.
Sari Ponzer obtained her nursing degree in Helsinki in 1978, completed her undergraduate medical education in 1986, and was appointed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Karolinska Institutet in 2007.  Sari Ponzer was born in 1956.

University representatives

Erik Sjöstedt, Lecturer, School of Science and Technology
Erik Sjöstedt’s academic focus is botany, plant physiology and zoology. He has been involved in developing the biology components of the Early Years and Primary Education programmes as well as the Subject Teacher Education Programme in biology. Research-wise, Erik Sjöstedt is involved in a study on how students approach and view the subject of technology.

Eva Särndahl, Professor, School of Medical Sciences
Eva Särndahl is professor of medicine with a specialisation in medical microbiology. Her research concerns inflammation as a natural process of keeping us healthy. It also looks at the link between dysregulated inflammation and the development of common diseases. She is the director of the research environment Inflammatory Response and Infection Susceptibility Center (iRiSC).

Daroon Yassin, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Daroon Yassin is senior lecturer in the Swedish language and part of the multidisciplinary research environment Centre for Research in the Humanities (CHF) at the School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Her academic focus is on writing and the development of writing skills in education, with a particular focus on teaching writing skills and pupil-produced texts in primary school. She mainly teaches on the teacher programme, including on courses on grammar, text analysis and the didactics of reading and writing. She is also co-coordinator of the Primary Education Programme.

Student representatives

President, Örebro Student Union

Emilia Malm
President, Örebro Student Union and representing all students.

Katarina Kristoffersson
Former president, Örebro Student Union, 2020–2021.

Linda Eriksson
Doctoral student, The School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences

Union representatives:

Nikolai Scherbak, Saco-S
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Martin Larsson, OFR/S
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Elisabeth Andersson, SEKO
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Anna-Karin Andershed
Anna-Karin Andershed is deputy vice-chancellor at Örebro University, professor of psychology and research leader at the Center for Criminological and Psychosocial Research (CAPS).
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Louise Pålsson
Louise Pålsson has worked as university director at Örebro University since September 2014. As university director, she reports directly to the vice-chancellor and is responsible for the university’s joint administration and support operations and their development. The university director is part of the university’s management team which consists of the vice-chancellor, the deputy vice-chancellor and the university director.
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Administrative Support

Marie Andersson
Marie Andersson works as a secretary at the Executive Office.
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Carolina Wittenfelt
Carolina Wittenfelt provides support to the university management regarding managerial communication.
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