Human Resource Strategy

The Human Resource Strategy of the University of Akureyri 2011–2014 was approved by the University Council on 27 June 2011 under the title “A tight-knit and strong team”. On 19 September 2019, the University Council approved that the Human Resource Strategy will remain in force until a review has taken place.


The University of Akureyri is an ambitious knowledge community and the knowledge of the University’s employees is its greatest resource. The University offers wages comparable to those of other public universities, and an emphasis is placed on creating a motivating and productive work environment where the knowledge and skills of employees are developed and used to their fullest extent.

There is an emphasis on offering an exemplary work environment on a newly developed university campus surrounded by the natural beauty of Eyjafjörður.

In accordance with its principal strategy, the University of Akureyri works to create a challenging and personal learning environment where students are the focal point. The University puts an emphasis on strengthening research work and active ties to society, both domestically and abroad.

The aim is for the University to become an internationally recognised educational institution that excels in selected academic fields. The University of Akureyri will reach its goals with a tight-knit and strong team of employees where equality serves as a guiding principle in all actions relating to matters of personnel.

1. Equality

An emphasis is placed on equality and equal opportunity at the University of Akureyri. Staff members are not discriminated against based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, religious or political opinions.

The aim is to attain gender balance in management, services, and teaching. All employees shall receive the same opportunities and encouragement to develop in their profession and attain success.

Bullying and sexual harassment are not tolerated and an effort is made to work with other institutions in the field of equality in order to disseminate information and knowledge of equality in an awakening and encouraging manner.

Actions Responsible party Time
Work according to the Equality Strategy of the University of Akureyri. University Council Continually
Introduce the strategy of the University on equal access to studies and work at the University of Akureyri. Student Counsellor Continually
Complete a status analysis and a plan for improvement for foreign employees, for example, in relation to education for new employees, teaching of Icelandic, continuing education, information dissemination, appointment to committees, etc. International Coordinator Fall 2011
Work according to the Language Strategy of the University of Akureyri. Rector Continually
Redefine and introduce processes for harassment cases. Committee on Equal Rights / Director of Quality Management Fall 2011

2. Hiring and reception of new employees

The University of Akureyri wishes to attract qualified employees, taking into consideration professional requirements, values, and needs, in addition to ensuring a purposeful hiring and reception process.

Actions Responsible party Time
Define and implement procedures for job analysis and preparation of job descriptions at the beginning of the hiring process. It is important to carry out an analysis and review a job description whether hiring for a new position or transferring employees within UNAK. Quality Council Fall 2012
Define and implement a hiring procedure, everything from obtaining applicants to choice of applicant. When a hiring has been made, it is important to prepare a transparent and well reasoned conclusion. Quality Council Fall 2012
Define and implement a procedure for receiving new employees. Take into consideration the different needs of the new employee according to whether he or she is tenured, a temporary lecturer, a guest lecturer, etc. Quality Council Partly completed but everything must be finished by spring 2012

3. Management

Good management forms the basis of the University of Akureyri as an efficient organisation. Access to information must be ensured and information flow should be effective.

If a decision must be made on changes to organisation or division of labour, which impose a burden on staff, care shall always be taken to ensure equality, justice and moderation in the spirit of administrative law and the Government Employees Act. This shall especially be kept in mind and carefully examined when considering the dismissal of an employee.

Actions Responsible party Time
Improve information flow at the University. Establish an intranet and increase information accessible to members of staff. Define responsible parties for internal information flow within UNAK. Director of Quality Management By end of 2011
Staff meetings during each semester. Rector Continually
Define and introduce a formal process for employee complaints and compliments. Director of Quality Management By end of 2011
Prepare a handbook for employees and update the handbook, at least annually for each academic year Director of Quality Management By spring 2012
Redefine and develop a system for service requests. Implement in appropriate locations. Director of Financial, Staff and Administrative Section By end of 2011
Train administrators in personnel matters and planning. Rector Regularly
Carry out regular surveys on the implementation of management. Quality Council Continually
Train administrators for employee interviews and ensure that they are carried out. Quality Council Regularly

4. Performance appraisal, support, continuing education, and professional development

The University of Akureyri supports employees in achieving success and encourages them to pursue continuing education. An efficient system is used to evaluate performance and an effort is made to ensure that all employees receive equal opportunities for development and are encouraged to make use of those opportunities.

Actions Responsible party Time
Hire temporary replacement workers in place of employees who go on leave within the limits allowed by allocation of funds. Rector / Managing Director Continually
Use a performance appraisal system (employee interviews, work evaluation, assessment rating). Rector, Deans, Heads of Faculty, Managing Director, and Directors Continually
Examine in what manner UNAK can adopt peer evaluation Quality Council Spring 2012
Make use of active teacher and staff exchange and introduce such possibilities within the University. International Coordinator Continually
Ensure the access of the University to the services of a teaching centre where support is offered in the areas of pedagogy and teaching technology. Director of Quality Management / Director of Academic Administration Continually
Ensure that a comprehensive plan is in place for custom-designed instruction relating to the work of employees. Director of Quality Management / Quality Council Continually
Organise management training where various important processes in personnel management are discussed and define such training as part of the job obligations of administrators. Quality Council Continually

5. Work facilities and work environment

The University of Akureyri makes sure that employees can work effectively and are given the necessary facilities and support to do so. An emphasis is placed on fulfilling requirements concerning security, health, and occupational safety. Employees should feel good at the University and look forward to their workday.

Actions Responsible party Time
Ensure that work facilities are sufficient as regards equipment and safety and make recommendations for improvement where necessary. Security Committee As needed
Ensure that employees have a shared, comfortable coffee room. Managing Director Fall 2011
Make a plan for strengthening support for research and improving research facilities. Rector Spring 2012
Make a plan for how to strengthen a supportive and challenging learning and teaching environment and improve teaching facilities. Quality Council Spring 2012
Strengthen the collections of the University’s Library and Information Services. Director of Library and Information Services Continually
Make a plan for strengthening the computer system of UNAK and the necessary software.. Director of Financial, Staff and Administrative Section  End of 2011
Make a plan for how to encourage employees to improve their health. Quality Council Fall 2011
Make a plan for how to strengthen team spirit and improve organisational climate. Quality Council Fall 2011

6. Balance between professional and personal life

The University of Akureyri wants employees to have the freedom to find a balance between their professional and personal life. Employees’ wishes regarding work arrangement, percentage of full-time equivalent, and taking of holidays are accommodated when possible.

Actions Responsible party Time
Hire summer employees to increase flexibility in taking of holidays within the limits allowed by allocation of funds. Managing Director Continually
Plan operations so that employees can fill in for each other. Managing Director Continually
Make a plan for how to reduce work pressure and stress in the workplace. Quality Council Fall 2011
Develop a strategy on achieving balance between employees’ professional and personal life. Rector Spring 2012

7. End of employment

The University of Akureyri offers flexibility upon end of employment and places an emphasis on maintaining ties with employees who have retired because of age.

Actions Responsible party Time
For those interested, offer work facilities for a period after their employment ends, a reduced percentage of full-time equivalent during their last semesters, or the possibility of starting a new job before the end of their term of notice. Managing Director Continually
Define how it is possible to maintain ties with employees who retire because of age. Director of Marketing and Public Relations Fall 2011