After eleven years as director and Head of Department at the Sociology of Law Department, Matthias Baier steps down to focus on the research projects "The Multilevel Orders of Corruption - Insights from a Post-Soviet Context" and "Central Asian Law: Legal Cultures and Business Environments in Central Asia".
New Head of Department is Isabel Schoultz, doctor of criminology and Associate Senior Lecturer. She is the third Head of Department and already director of Lund University's Institute for Economic Security (EconSec), and Deputy Editor of the Journal of White Collar and Corporate Crime. Until the turn of the year, she was also program coordinator for the Bachelor Program in Criminology.
Isabel Schoultz has researched strategies large companies, such as Telia and Lundin Petroleum, use to defend themselves against accusations of serious crime – like denial, appealing to higher loyalties, and scapegoating. Skills that might come in handy as the Head of Department.
“Haha! Yes, I have learned one or two neutralization techniques that can come in handy if I get a lot of criticism,” Isabel Schoultz says when asked typical questions-for-the-new-leader questions.
What made you to accept the nomination for Head of Department?
Flattery and feelings of duty! The university is based on collegial leadership; that my colleagues had confidence in me was one of the crucial aspects. I hope I will manage that trust well. I was also interested in leading the department, drawing up visions and working strategically to realize them.
What do you hope to accomplish as Head of the Sociology of Law Department?
The department has undergone a generational shift, and we are still in a reconstruction phase. Several, in academic terms, young researchers have taken on new roles. I hope to give the department stability and at the same time forward thinking. In the coming years, I hope we will both grow in size and develop academically. Our important and extensive educational assignment also needs to continue to be managed and developed. We have several recruitments ahead of us, including an associate lecturer and a professor, who will strengthen the department in terms of teaching and research.
What challenges have you identified so far?
Well, it has only been two weeks, but the most obvious is that I need to come up with a system to handle all incoming emails and bookings of meetings, and learn to sort which emails should be handled immediately and which can wait a bit. But with time I imagine that I will face much greater challenges than managing my own mailbox and calendar.
Will your new position have any notable effect on your ongoing research projects?
The idea is that I will continue with my research as planned. It will be difficult to set aside continuous research time, but it is essential that I can. I honestly believe that I will not be a good leader of the department if I cannot conduct my research. It gives me energy and inspiration.
Isabel Schoultz is Head of the Sociology of Law Department until the end of 2023, when departments at the Faculty of Social Sciences hold new elections. Read more about here work on her personal page.