Antti Tanskanen named chair of the University Board

The board has chosen Minister Antti Tanskanen as its chair

Antti Tanskanen

“Freedom is emphasised when it comes to researchers and research, but for the University Board, responsibility is emphasised. And this is how it should be,” says Jaana Husu-Kallio, director general of the Finnish Food Safety Authority, speaking of the new Universities Act.

The new Board of the University of Helsinki, the first board chosen in accordance with the new Universities Act, chose Jaana Husu-Kallio as its vice-chair in its organising meeting. Antti Tanskanen was appointed as the chair of the board.

Tanskanen, Ph.D. (Econ.) is a well-known figure in the business community and he sits on the boards of numerous organisations. In the academic field, Tanskanen has researched economics and held the positions of rector at the University of Jyväskylä and president of the Academy of Finland.

“Even though the university administration and finances are now being radically reformed, its most significant and traditional duties will remain intact,” says Tanskanen about the point of departure of the board’s term of office.

Husu-Kallio and Tanskanen emphasise the financial responsibility but – even during the new Universities Act – the new chair does not support the idea of economic autonomy for universities. The significance of the funds allocated by the Ministry of Education will continue to be decisive. Universities must be careful in setting their objectives following the fund allocation criteria of the Ministry of Education.

“Otherwise, we will be in a great deal of trouble in a couple of years.”

In Tanskanen’s opinion, for example, the discrepancy between the number of teachers and students is a direct consequence of the funding criteria of the ministry. However, it is difficult to come up with a better method of evaluating activities, Tanskanen and Thomas Wilhelmsson, rector of the university, remarked.

“Compared to many other organisations, it is very difficult for universities to measure, determine or compare their results,” says Tanskanen.

Members of the University Board » »

Text: Virve Pohjanpalo
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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