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The highest decision-making body of the university is the eleven-member council chaired by Ruth Oltjer.

The council is responsible for the university's economic activities and long-term development. Among its other duties, the council approves the university's statutes and adopts its strategic plan and budget. 

Five council members are nominated by the minister of education and research, five by the university senate and one by the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

On 30 December 2021, the Government of Estonia approved the new composition of the council of the University of Tartu for five years.

Nominated by the minister of education and research:

Arto Aas
Managing Director of the Estonian Employers' Confederation 

Heidi Kakko
Chair of the Supervisory Board of UniTartu Ventures OÜ

Marja Makarow
Member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, President of Academia Europaea

Ants Nõmper
Managing Partner of the Ellex Raidla law firm

Ruth Oltjer
CEO of Chemi-Pharm AS

Elmer Sterken
Professor of Monetary Economics of the University of Groningen 


Nominated by the senate:

Jaan Eha
Professor of Cardiology, Academician

Birute Klaas-Lang
Professor of Estonian as Foreign Language

Mari Moora
Professor in Community Ecology

Martin Aleksander Noorkõiv
Doctoral student in Media and Communication

Urmas Varblane
Professor of International Business




Director of Administration Kstina Vallimäe

Kstina Vallimäe has been the Director of Administration of the University of Tartu since 2019.

Head of Finance Kalle Hein

Kalle Hein has been the Head of Finance of the University of Tartu since 2018.

Vice Rector for Research Kristjan Vassil

Kristjan Vassil has been the Vice Rector for Researcht of the University of Tartu since 2018.