The senate is the university's academic decision-making body chaired by Rector Toomas Asser. It is responsible for the university's teaching, research and development activities and ensures their high quality. The senate adopts the statutes of the university and submits these to the council for approval. The senate has the power to exercise a one-time veto in respect of a council resolution by which the university's budget is adopted.

The senate is composed of the rector as its chair and of up to 21 members.  The university's academic staff elect four representatives from each faculty. At least 1/5 of the senate members are students, elected by the Student Union.


Senate Chair

Toomas Asser
Rector of the University of Tartu
Professor of Neurosurgery


Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Raili Marling
Professor of English
College of Foreign Languages and Cultures

Renate Pajusalu
Professor of General Linguistics
Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics

Pärtel Piirimäe
Professor of Intellectual History
Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics

Urmas Nõmmik 
Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Studies
School of Theology and Religious Studies


Faculty of Social Sciences

Veronika Kalmus
Professor of Sociology
Institute of Social Studies

Maaja Vadi
Professor of Management
School of Economics and Business Administration

Eiki Berg
Professor of Sociology
Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies

Marju Luts-Sootak
Professor of Legal History
School of Law


Faculty of Medicine

Külli Kingo
Professor in Dermatology and Venereology
Institute of Clinical Medicine

Ana Rebane
Professor of Molecular Medicine
Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine

Anneli Uusküla
Professor of Epidemiology
Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health

Maris Laan
Professor of Human Genetics
Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine


Faculty of Science and Technology

Krista Fischer
Professor of Mathematical Statistics
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
Institute of Genomics

Jaak Vilo
Professor of Bioinformatics
Institute of Computer Science

Evelyn Uuemaa
Associate Professor in Geoinformatics
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences

Heikki Junninen
Professor in Environmental Physics
Institute of Physics



Karolin Allikas
Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Karl Erik Piirimees
Faculty of Social Sciences

Renar Kihho
Faculty of Medicine
President of the Student Union

Liisa Marie Kerner
Faculty of Medicine

Hanna Britt Soots
Faculty of Science and Technology


The mandate of the academic staff representatives runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026. The mandate of the student representatives runs from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024. 


Toomas Plank to continue as Director of the Institute of Physics

Tartu Ülikooli keemia instituut

Piret Pikma elected as Head of the Institute of Chemistry

TÜMRI fassaad

Maia Kivisaar to continue as Director of the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology