Organisation & employees
BI is a self-owning foundation and is chaired by a ten-member board of trustees. The board is the final authority where BI operations are concerned and will formulate and decide on primary rules for governance. The board appoints the president, deals with strategic plans, makes budgeting decisions, verifies the annual accounts and acts as the highest decision-making authority on all important cases. Please see the board's annual report for more information.
The Supervisory Committee reviews the annual accounts (income statement and balance sheet), selects the auditor and makes sure the board operates according to laws and regulations. The Supervisory Committee consists of three members, all of whom are external.
CONTROL COMMITTEE IN 2021:
- Anne Helsingeng (chair), Bull & Co
- Christian Winther, Pangea Property Partners
- Olve Gravråk, Valogiant
- The president and the director of strategic financial management from BI
The committee meets twice a year, once in the spring semester and once in the autumn semester, usually in May and November.
BI Senate is the highest academic body under authorisation from the board. It establishes the content of the education programmes we offer and the rules for admission, as well as exemptions, examinations, admission requirements, examiners and profile of skills and competences for scientific employees. BI Senate presents cases to the president to hire new academic positions; the president has the final say regarding employment.
BI SENATE in 2021 (as of 31.12.2021):
- Inge Jan Henjesand, president, permanent member
- Hilde C. Bjørnland, provost, permanent member
- Bendik Samuelsen, provost, permanent member
- Amir Sasson, provost, permanent member
- Lars Olsen, dean bachelor, observer
- Janicke Rasmussen, dean master, observer
- Jan Ketil Arnulf, dean executive, permanent member
- Øyvind Norli, dean phd, permanent member
- Kari Birkeland, academic representative, 01.08.21-31.07.23
- Bjørn Erik Mørk, academic representative, 01.08.21-31.07.23
- Kim van Oorschot, academic representative, 01.08.20-31.07.22
- Paul Ehling, academic representative, 01.08.20-31.07.22
- Ingunn Myrtveit, representing the department heads, 01.08.21-31.07.22
- Birte Marie Horn-Hansen, administrative representative, 01.08.20-31.07.22
- Fridtjof Scheie, administrative representative, 01.08.20-31.07.22
- Maiken Engebretsen, student representative biso, 01.08.21-31.07.22
- Ida Rad, student representative biso, 01.01.22-31.12.22
- Humberto Flores, student representative biso, 01.08.21-31.07.22
- Erlend Kvaal, academic deputy representative, 01.08.21-31.07.23
- Kai Rune Mathisen, administrative deputy representative, 01.08.20-31.07.22
BI's management team as of 31.12.21:
- President Inge Jan Henjesand
- Provost Hilde C. Bjørnland
- Provost Bendik M. Samuelsen
- Provost Amir Sasson
- Division Director for Full-Time Studies Marius Eriksen
- Division Director for BI Executive Lise Hammergren
- Director of Strategic Financial Management Thomas Hvamstad
- Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Yngve Kveine
- Digital Director Elin Borrebæk
- Head of Organisation and HR Wenche Helene Nilsen
BI's president is also the formal general manager and has per procurationem signing rights.
The board appoints a president for four years at a time. The president runs the foundation and will comply with guidelines provided by the board and their orders. The president has an advisory role in academic and administrative matters. The president has the final authority in the employment of scientific positions and is head of BI Senate. The president will make certain the Foundation's accounts are balanced and in accordance with laws and regulations.
The provosts will stand in for the president if needed. Three provosts lead the units:
The Studies and Programmes Unit, the Research and Academic Resources Unit and the Innovation & Outreach Unit, respectively.
EDUCATIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE – UUV
BI has an educational affairs committee (Undervisningsutvalget) for each programme area: Bachelor's, Master's, Executive and PhD.
The Educational Affairs Committee plays an advisory role for the dean regarding academic issues under his/her supervision.
The committee deals with academic issues such as study programmes, reviewing course descriptions (objectives, subjects, literature, educational models and types of academic assessment) and it evaluates level of competence and areas of competence for lecturers, counsellors and examiners, requirements for study progression, rules for admission, evaluation of collaborative partners and approval of in-house workshops, studies and programmes that are seeking state approval for study credits.
The Appeals Committee will process complaints on individual administrative decisions and, based on the board's decisions, other appeals/complaints that come from the candidates. The Appeals Committee has five members, each with a personal deputy.
The chairperson and deputy chair must comply with specific statutory requirements for functioning as a court of appeal judges. The chairperson and deputy are not employed at any BI department. Two of the members will be students.
BAMU is BI's Works Council and Working Environment Committee. BAMU is tasked with making our workplace safe and enjoyable for employees throughout the organisation. The Committee participates in all planning for safety and work environment work, and carefully monitors developments in employee safety, health and welfare. BAMU's job is to make certain safety and work environment work and EMS measures are carried out in a comprehensible and justifiable manner.
BI had a total of 988 employees, divided between 510 administrative staff and 478 academic employees at the end of 2021.
This corresponds to an increase of 65 employees since 2020. Administrative staff increased by 27 persons, while the number of academic staff increased by 38 persons. Much of the increase can be attributed to an increase in the number of employees in qualifying fixed-term positions on the academic side and more appointments at the campuses outside Oslo. On the administrative side, this is mainly due to the need for increased capacity for the development and implementation of new digital work processes, increased admission, Covid-19 and insourcing of 5 employees related to the operation of BI's premises, as well as greater requirements for documentation of quality and corporate governance.
The figures correspond to a total of almost 900 man-years, an increase of approximately 59 man-years from 2020. This is due to a significant increase in man-years in academic staff (about 33 man-years) and an increase of just over 25 man-years among administrative employees. At the end of the year, academic man-years were 399, up from 365 the year before. BI has a total of 127 professors, of whom 33 are in the position of adjunct professor. The share of academic employees from other countries was nearly 39 percent. In addition to BI's academic staff, 303 hourly lecturers were affiliated with BI in 2020, an increase from the previous year of 18 people*.
*Figures for employees can deviate from the statistics found in DBH. This is due to the fact that reporting to DBH is done on 1 October, while the figures in BI's Annual Report are from 31.12.
BI's Strategy 2025 highlights "Operational Excellence" as a key strategic priority. Many of our major digitalisation initiatives have a major impact on work processes, distribution of roles and responsibilities, and can lead to changes in organisational structures.
HYBRID TEACHING AND EXAM
The transition to digital teaching during the pandemic resulted in a major infrastructure initiative in 2020/21 in which classrooms and auditoriums had equipment and systems installed for streaming. In addition to requiring significant training and guidance in the use of the equipment, coordinated support and strategic development of technology in classrooms were identified as critical. As a result, BI coordinated all employees working on streaming support and AV equipment under the Digital Department. At the same time, the Learning Center's strategic responsibility for the development of the classrooms was clarified.
The phasing out of DigiEx and introducing Wiseflow resulted in significant changes in work processes related to the planning, completion and follow-up of the exam.
The experiences from the pandemic also changed the way we work and interact. This entails new requirements for facilities and technology.
As the last delivery in the project "Internal communication and interaction", BI in 2021 introduced a new intranet with integrated personnel and management manuals. Together with tools like Workplace, Teams and OneDrive, BI employees get more flexibility and easier access to information and documents.
New ways of working also change the demands and expectations of the physical workplace. In 2021, extensive work was carried out, with a significant degree of participation from the organisation, to develop a new workplace concept that will take BI into future ways of working. The concept will be piloted and further developed at Campus Oslo. In 2021, BI also developed and introduced guidelines for the new hybrid workday, which allows for increased flexibility and use of home office for BI employees.
To gather expertise, utilise synergies and reduce vulnerability, BI implemented a joint Admissions Office in 2021 for the three business areas Full-time, Executive and Corporate.
In order to coordinate joint administrative work processes and systems across the departments, and to be a hub between the department administrations and the rest of the organisation, a new department was established in 2021 under research and academic resources: Central Department Administration.
In 2021, the Facility Department was divided into two departments, Real Estate and Sustainable Campus Facilities, to strengthen the strategic focus on the development of BI's campuses, as well as our environmental and climate work.
BI continued its work in 2021 to develop more systematic internal training and competence development, including through e-learning. An important milestone in this context was the launch of a new introduction programme for new employees.
In 2020, BI's board of trustees adopted a new language policy that states that BI will use both Norwegian and English. Separate provisions have been specified for languages in research, teaching and administration. The language policy reflects and supports BI's international ambitions, while recognising our corporate social responsibility with regard to safeguarding and further developing Norwegian professional and academic language both in research and in practice within BI's disciplines. BI has Bokmål as its main language variant in Norwegian, but students can submit exam responses in both Norwegian and Nynorsk.
BI has established a training programme to make sure employees have adequate language skills to meet the expectations laid out in our Language Policy and for each job position. In 2021, the primary focus was on language training in English, with around 60 employees as participants.
Working environment, Covid-19 and sick leave
BI aims for an inspiring working environment that promotes well-being, health, learning and development for the individual. The working environment will be characterised by diversity, equity/equality, consideration and respectful and open communication. BI has zero tolerance for any form of abuse of power.
The pandemic has also affected the working environment in 2021 and resulted in a lot of digital teaching and extensive use of home offices, as well as strict infection control measures on campus. This has affected both the psychosocial and physical working environment for all employees. BI has focused on introducing appropriate digital support tools for teaching and interaction, as well as ensuring good user experiences and coping through training and support. Employees have also been given access to equipment necessary for home office. Various measures to prevent the negative effects of long sedentary days in front of the screen have been implemented, including digital training programmes. Managers have had a particular focus on the psychosocial conditions of their employees, and BI has offered psychosocial counselling to those who have needed this.
A simplified work environment survey was sent out in March and December of 2021. The survey showed that the vast majority were satisfactory working conditions, but that social contact with colleagues was missing, as well as challenges in distinguishing between work and leisure, high workload and motivation. Several have reported better concentration, more effective meetings and less stress due to greater flexibility. New employees have been identified as a group that has had a particularly challenging time with a lot of home office. This group was therefore a priority in times of working from home. BI has recorded an increase in overtime use during the pandemic. Sickness absence has decreased throughout the pandemic, but increased again in the autumn of 2021.
BI focuses on constructive dialogue and respectful communication in the workplace. In 2021, a separate policy was drawn up for this, as well as guidelines for handling cases on harassment and sexual harassment, as well as an implementation plan for raising awareness and training of managers and employees.
In the fall of 2021, safety rounds were carried out on all four campuses with safety delegates, representatives from campus management, EHS and the occupational health services, Avonova. No major discrepancies were uncovered. Minor conditions were soon corrected or put into the EHS action plan.
Our primary occupational health risk is related to stress and interaction, as well as muscle and skeletal strain. The latter has been particularly focused in connection with home offices during the pandemic. We offer psychosocial counselling to all employees, which has helped prevent sick leave and conflicts, improved conflict resolution and helped in mastering stress. Psychosocial counselling combined with close cooperation with the company health service has brought our employees back to work faster after an illness. The numbers for sickness absences based on medical certificates from doctors among BI employees decreased during the pandemic from 2.6% in 2020 to 2.4% in 2021.
No serious incidents, injuries, property damage or accidents in connection with carrying out work at BI have been registered in 2021.