26 February 2021

Theis Lange new Acting Head of Department from 1 March 2021

’I am proud of the strategic internationalisation and recruitment process the department has undergone’, says Steffen Loft who resigns of 1 March 2021.

On 1 March 2015, Steffen Loft took over what he describes as a large, extremely well-run and well-structured department with a broad academic base, healthy finances and extensive research and teaching portfolios.

'What surprised me the most, I think, was the different situation and role as full-time head of a department with a staff of 400 and very different disciplines at the highest level. I have truly enjoyed the insight it has brought me, and I have a lot of respect for the many disciplines and extremely talented staff at the Department of Public Health', says Steffen Loft.

Resigning Head of Department Steffen Loft
Resigning Head of Department Steffen Loft

f you ask him what he is most proud of having achieved as head of department, he says, without pause:

'I am most proud of the strategic internationalisation and recruitment process the department has undergone. The new growth layer with newly recruited assistant professors and postdocs has really been strengthened, supported by focussed talent efforts'.

'Naturally, the past year has been characterised by COVID-19. I am extremely impressed with the staff's ability to adapt and provide high-quality teaching under the most difficult circumstances, while at the same time developing brand new, vital research in central public health aspects of the pandemic as well as continuing ongoing research with new funding applications and administrative support'.

Theis Lange – Professor and Acting Head of Department in the same week

Theis Lange has been with the Department of Public Health since 2009 and acted as Deputy Head of Department since 2019. He says with enthusiasm about his new position:

'With two offers – for the position as Professor and the position as Acting Head of Department – in the same week, it is undoubtedly a week I will remember for a long time. And teleworking and home schooling have meant that I have been able to share these great experiences with my family'.

Theis Lange
Acting Head of Department Theis Lange

And when it comes to the opportunities, Theis is also very positive:

'The corona crisis has made it clear to everyone that the causes – and remedies – of disease are very complex, and it includes understanding behaviour, biology, social affairs and globalisation at the same time. Understanding such complexity is the Department of Public Health's main competence. So, the discipline is currently faced with a lot of opportunities, but we need to strike while the iron is hot. It is a task I look forward to undertaking along with the rest of the department'.

Naturally, Theis also considers the corona crisis a great challenge that must be overcome, and once society opens up again he believes the entire organisation will have to work hard to regain its balance after a period of changing working conditions; but he is ready to get started.

'We have to rediscover each other and ourselves', he says.

By Cathrine Sixhøj Crone