New honorary doctors at MDH

Nov 19, 2014 | On campus

The Faculty Board has appointed Gunnar Svedberg and Bob Perry as new honorary doctors at MDH. They will be promoted at the Academic Ceremony on 24 April 2015 and will give open lectures on 23 April on Honorary Doctors’ Day.

Bob Perry is a professor of mathematics and transition to school at Charles Sturt University in Albury, in south-east Australia. For more than 40 years he has worked at higher education institutions in Australia and the rest of the world. He is also one of the researchers in POET (Pedagogies of Educational Transitions), a four-year EU-funded research cooperation where MDH is the coordinating university and Professor Anders Garpelin the main coordinator.

– Professor Perry is a researcher who makes projects happen and who is a very committed participant in the joint projects he is involved in. I hope that his appointment entails even more opportunities for us to cooperate, for example in research applications, in joint symposia, and in meetings with our teachers, researchers and doctoral students, says Anders Garpelin.

Bob Perry’s research touches on several of the areas in which educational research is carried out at MDH. He does research in applied mathematics at preschool and the early years of school. A particular interest in recent years has been children’s transitions in school in general and the start of school in particular.

– I hope to be able to invite both students and practitioners to his lectures when he comes to MDH in connection with his promotion at the end of April. His colleague Sue Dockett will be here too then, in order to give lectures and meet employees in her capacity as the current visiting professor in memory of Alva Myrdal, says Anders Garpelin.

Gunnar Svedberg became a professor of energy engineering at KTH in 1989. At that time, he was also deputy vice-chancellor at KTH. He has been a member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences since 1992. In 1999, he became the vice-chancellor of Mid-Sweden University, and between 2003 and 2006 was the vice-chancellor of the University of Gothenburg. One year later, he was elected into MDH’s University Board, where he was a highly appreciated vice-chair until 2013. With the exception of a few years in the private sector, Gunnar Svedberg has thus been loyal to the world of higher education for four decennia in his work as teacher, researcher and executive. “Nothing is as much fun as higher education institutions”, he said in an interview with Universitetsläraren some years ago.

At KTH, Gunnar Svedberg received the students’ award for best teacher three times, and at the University of Gothenburg, the Gunnar Svedberg Award was instituted in appreciation of the concern that he had shown the students in his work. In his role as a leader, he has emphasized the importance of making the powers that be aware of the fact that funding of education and research should be seen as an investment and that they should not interfere on the level of details, but have more trust in their universities.

Gunnar Svedberg will be made an honorary doctor for his long experience of higher education institutions, his efforts regarding MDH throughout the years, and his moral courage and integrity as a teacher, researcher and leader.

– I hope that Gunnar Svedberg’s appointment as honorary doctor in 2015 will highlight MDH’s intention to uphold the academic values of integrity, quality, trustworthiness and honesty, says Lene Martin, Dean.