The Prefect Word


Dear colleagues,

As you may be aware, this will be my last (and 27th) column under this headline since as of October 1, I will resign from being chair of the department and assume the position as Director of Research and Education at the Karolinska University Hospital.

It has been a privilege to serve as your prefekt during these 7.5 years! This is a fantastic department of dedicated, creative, enthusiastic and hard working researches, teachers and TA staff! The most rewarding part of my work has been to interact with all of you in fulfilling our every day routines or in our special events such as the Department days, research group leader retreats, junior faculty retreats, grad student conferences, department councils, board meetings to mention a few of our meeting venues.

As you also know, Mats Olsson has generously accepted to serve as acting prefekt during the prefect recruitment process. Equally generously, Emily Holmes has accepted to step in for Mats as acting head of Psychology.

Yesterday it was announced that Clara Hellner, our head of psychiatry (a.k.a. CPF) has been appointed Director of Research and Education at SLSO (Stockholms Läns Sjukvårdsområde, eng. Stockholm Health Care Services). In case you didn’t know, SLSO is Sweden’s third largest health care provider with 11,500 employees and a turnover of almost 9,5 BSEK, providing services in psychiatry, family medicine, geriatrics and rehabilitation in the Stockholm county. It’s great that SLSO recognizes its role in research and education by appointing a Director for those functions! Although I warmly congratulate Clara on her promotion, I regret that the department will lose a fantastic division head who has contributed enormously the development and success of CPF during the over 5 years of her reign!

In addition, we are likely to see replacements in the leading roles of the other Divisions within the next year or so. Accordingly, there will be considerable changes at the managerial levels within our department and the process to identify the next prefekt and a next head of the Psychiatry Division are beginning in the next few days.

Having experienced the talent among our researchers and teachers, I know that there will be no difficulty in identifying individuals capable of taking on the duties as prefekt or heads of divisions. We already have dozens of professors and several lecturers, many of who are well equipped. In addition, I have seen during the past year what extraordinary talents we have in the next generation of 25 or so of potential CNS leaders who are participating in the FAL (Future Academic Leaders) programme.

The critical thing may be, in fact, to convince these talents to take on the administrative duties instead of wholeheartedly pursue research and/or education. All I can say is that this is a great place to act as a leader, the work is nowhere close to being as difficult as you may think, given our dedicated and competent leaders at all levels as well as our competent and efficient admin staff (and one of KI’s lowest over heads) – believe me, it’s pure pleasure to be prefekt at CNS!

Before closing, please allow me to remind you once again on the importance of contributing to the Employee Survey – our main tool to improve on your work environment.

I look forward to remain as a researching CNS professor in parallel to my new duties, to see you around from time to time, and I hope to serve the interests of our CNS researches and teachers also in this new role. I’m convinced that you will keep up the great work you are all delivering for today’s and tomorrow’s patients.

Thanks to all of you great collaboration and I wish you and CNS a most successful future!




Jan Hillert

Enhet:Neuro Hillert