From 1 February 2024, Anna Sofia Hedberg will be the new Administrative Director of the Office for Humanities and Social Sciences. Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt.2023-10-20
Anna Sofia Hedberg new Administrative Director of the Office for Humanities and Social Sciences.
Anna Sofia Hedberg will become Administrative Director of the Office for Humanities and Social Sciences from 1 February 2024, when the current Director Johan Lundborg retires.
“It’s going to be great fun. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but it’s feeling more and more real now that it’s official,” comments Hedberg. “It’s an exciting job. I'm really looking forward to becoming Administrative Director and feel a real commitment to the Office and its place in the organisation. Being the Administrative Director of an Office with such competent and fantastic employees is extremely motivating and a crucial factor for me to take on the role.”
Hedberg is currently Senior Faculty Administrator at the Office for Humanities and Social Sciences and works primarily with the Faculty of Arts.
A cog in a world-leading organisation
“It feels very exciting too, of course,” notes Hedberg thoughtfully. “We will keep the aspects that we can be proud of in the Office, like its good atmosphere and culture. At the same time, it has to keep pace with a University that aims to be world-leading. How can the Office relieve the pressure on our core activities without growing too much, just as the load of administrative tasks increases?”
She has studied, earned her doctorate, worked as a senior lecturer and director of studies, all at Uppsala University. Now, after eight years as a senior faculty administrator, she is stepping up to become manager of her former colleagues as Administrative Director.
“It will of course be a challenge and something for which I need to have a strategy. Up until now I have had forty close colleagues, now I need to create other networks. But I won’t hesitate to ask for help and support, and there are various specialists and functions to help me.”
Returned after illness
A few years ago, Hedberg was on long-term sick leave but is now back at full speed.
“As they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. When I started working again after treatment for breast cancer, it was really hard. I thought, ‘Well, this is how it’s turned out, now I can hardly manage to think.’ But I got through it and today I feel that I have regained full working capacity,” she says with a smile.
Since the summer of 2023, she has in part had slightly different duties, working more on disciplinary domain issues at the Office and thus more closely with Vice-Rector Tora Holmberg.
“My new role means that I need to create a different image of the Office and the disciplinary domain for myself. It was good timing being able to work more closely with the domain management team this autumn, as collaboration with the Vice-Rector and the deans is key for the Administrative Director.”
She is looking forward to the opportunity to work more with the other two Offices and disciplinary domains.
“It’s important in my view that we see ourselves as one University and part of the same machinery.”
A feel for relationships
Hedberg describes herself as a person with an interest in and eye for people and relationships.
“I believe I can easily see the potential in different people and want to get them involved, which is a skill I think fits well in this context. A good leader should make employees feel involved, seen and listened to, while setting a clear direction. As Administrative Director, I have to be able to filter things and help my staff prioritise, while at the same time allocating responsibilities and instilling confidence. The Administrative Director shouldn’t interfere with every little thing.”
Maintaining contact with the organisation
Maintaining contact with the wider organisation is key for Hedberg, and she returns to this issue several times.
“I hope I can stay in close contact with the organisation, as I must never forget how it is to work at an institution. After all, our entire raison d'être is based on our core activities.”