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The school has to keep pace with the surrounding world

Portrait image of Sandra di Rocco in front of the blackboard.
Sandra di Rocco, Head of the School of Engineering Sciences. Photo: Håkan Lindgren
Published Feb 10, 2020

Hello there Sandra di Rocco, newly appointed Head of the School of Engineering Sciences. Why did you want to become a school head?

“The main reason is that I have been given a great deal of trust by my surroundings. I am entering this school head role with strong support from the faculty. My eight years as a department head were also special to me. I grew a great deal in that time, as a researcher, colleague and person. All of this together means that I feel ready for the task.”

What does your leadership look like?

“Collegiality is important, jointly arriving at goals and decisions. The faculty should be involved in the decision making and feel free to think and say what it wants. Being clear in my leadership is also important since it contributes to greater transparency. For example, I’ve always carefully justified the changes I’ve previously implemented.”

Why are clear processes important?

“The school needs clear working processes in order to increase transparency within the organisation and so that everyone will be included. Ambiguous or non-existent processes cause exclusion. But some flexibility is also needed. Too many regulations can be perceived as an impediment. It’s important to find the right balance.”

How is gender equality at the school?

“It’s better, but not optimal. My vision is to actively contribute to KTH’s central efforts in gender equality, diversity and equal opportunity and to proactively contribute to improvements at our school. I hired 24 new teachers during my years as a department head. There were 14 women among them. You have to try to ensure in every way that there are skilled women applicants.”

What is most important for education and research?

“We need to continue to encourage strategic thinking so that we do not lose the already high level we have at the school. Being far-sighted also includes understanding the society we live in. Neither the students nor the labour market is the same as ten years ago. The school needs to be as dynamic as the surrounding world.”

Words: Marianne Norén

Belongs to: Current
Last changed: Feb 10, 2020