New composition of the University of Tartu council approved

At their session on 16 February, the Government of the Republic of Estonia approved  the new composition of the council of the University of Tartu. The rector will convene the first council meeting on 13 March 2017.

Members of the council from outside the university:

  • rector of Uppsala University, Professor Eva Åkesson,
  • managing director of Estonian Business Angels Network EstBAN Heidi Kakko,
  • chairman of the board of Sangar AS Vahur Kraft,
  • managing partner of Raidla Ellex Law Firm Ants Nõmper,
  • general manager of Chemi-Pharm AS Ruth Oltjer.

From the University of Tartu, the following members belong to the council:

  • professor of neurosurgery, academician Toomas Asser,
  • professor of economic policy Jüri Sepp,
  • professor of Estonian as a foreign language Birute Klaas-Lang,
  • professor of archaeogenetics, academician Richard Villems,
  • professor of psychology of religion Tõnu Lehtsaar.

Toomas Asser, Jüri Sepp and Vahur Kraft also belonged to the previous membership of the council.

Read more about the members on the intranet.

Rector Volli Kalm said that the news about the government’s decision was relieving. “Although the university has operated smoothly on a day-to-day basis despite having a council, there are several processes that cannot continue for long without the decisions of the governing body,” the rector explained, referring to the long delay in the approval process. The rector was also pleased about the makeup of the council: “The university has got a respectable body consisting of significant and capable members to support its long-term development.”

The rector makes a proposal to the members of the new council to gather to their first session on Monday, 13 March 2017. At the first meeting the council will elect a chair, agree about its rules of procedure and discuss other general university governance issues. The council meeting will be followed by a joint session of the council and the senate, in which rector candidates will be heard and an opinion formed about the candidates.

The council is the highest decision-making body of the University of Tartu, which holds responsibility for the university's economic activities and long-term development. Among other activities, the council approves the university's statutes and adopts its strategic plan and budget.

According to the UT Statutes, the council comprises 11 members, five of whom are nominated by the senate, one by the Estonian Academy of Sciences (whose nominee must not be an employee of the University of Tartu) and five by the Minister of Education and Research, involving the public in the nomination process and ensuring that the majority of council members are not employees of the university.

Additional information:
Saima Tiirmaa-Oras, council secretary, 737 5602,

Viivika Eljand-Kärp
Press Officer of the UT
Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5354 0689