Academic institutions have always played a distinct role in society. The term “university” derives from Latin university as meaning “a whole”. Originally, the term became a denomination of organizations of students and professors modelled after the medieval guilds. This was also true for Denmark where academic institutions and their conditions largely remained stable for several hundred years. The 1970 Government Act heralded a series of changes that is still ongoing. These changes have been much more significant and dramatic than what universities have ever witnessed before. The changes created new governance structures, new financing models, new incentives, new academic roles and new academic leadership conditions. The authors have been active in academic leadership since 1973 and based on a theoretical framework we will describe the many changes and the effect on academic leadership from 1968 to 2020.
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