On 3 October, the faculties’ electoral bodies elected new deans for the University of Tartu. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Anti Selart, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences Margit Keller, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Külli Kingo, and the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology Leho Ainsaar will assume office on 1 January 2024.
Tõnis Karki, Academic Secretary of the University of Tartu and chair of the election commission, said that voter turnout was higher in faculties with two candidates, as expected. “The discussions held in the recent weeks were definitely useful for all the faculties and gave lots of ideas for further activities,” Karki said.
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
49,69% of the electoral body members of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities participated in the elections. Anti Selart, for whom 202 electoral body members cast their votes, will continue as the dean.
Selart sees room for improvement in making better use of the international research potential in the faculty. He considers cooperation between researchers, students, departments, institutes and faculties as important.
Faculty of Social Sciences
In the dean elections of the Faculty of Social Sciences, 67,48% of the electoral body members cast their votes. 152 electoral body members voted for Margit Keller and 126 members supported Janno Lahe. Margit Keller was elected the dean.
For Keller, a consistent search for balance, following the principle “how to make it work so that everyone wins”, rather than “as long as I do not lose” is important. Such balance helps avoid the so-called home blindness. She also wants to find a way how the autonomy of each unit, solidarity in the faculty and the development of the entire university could complement one another.
Faculty of Medicine
The voter turnout in the dean elections of the Faculty of Medicine was 77,78%. 146 electoral body members voted for Ruth Kalda and 156 members elected Külli Kingo. Külli Kingo was elected the dean.
As a dean, Kingo will focus on the funding of research and higher education, the salary of staff, the quality of university education and its relevance to the challenges and needs of healthcare in Estonia. She has worked at the university for a long time, served as vice dean and a senate member, and therefore knows the needs and expectations of the university and its various units.
Faculty of Science and Technology
In the Faculty of Science and Technology, 53,96% electoral body members participated in the dean election. Leho Ainsaar, who received the votes of 514 electoral body members, will continue as the dean.
Ainsaar believes it is important to have a say in the development of faculties and supporting cooperation. He finds that there is still a lot to do to further develop the working environment and infrastructure, especially in Maarjavälja. Research and education worldwide are rapidly changing towards interdisciplinarity; also the structure of the faculty and the cooperation networks between the institutes are constantly changing, and therefore the faculty needs to keep up with the times.
Read on the university website why the elected deans agreed to stand as candidates.