Rector, vice-rectors and unit management
The University of Helsinki is managed by the rector, vice-rectors and the heads and directors of units.
Rector Sari Lind­blom

Sari Lindblom acts as rector until 17 November 2021.


The next stage in the degree programme reform has been among the central projects during Lindblom’s new term. Next under scrutiny is the functionality of the programmes begun in autumn 2017. Necessary adjustments will be carried out based on the experiences and results gained.

“Data on students’ progress and experiences have been continuously collected. Experiences have been positive, and studies have progressed well during the first year. We are closely monitoring the progress of students’ studies and transition from bachelor’s programmes to master’s programmes.”

Lindblom will also be working on the introduction of certificate-based admissions in 2020. Alongside certificate-based admissions, the Open University route and other admissions channels as well as MOOCs will be developed. In addition, entrance examinations are to be redesigned to require less preparation.

Digitalisation will also be promoted in projects conducted on various levels.

“The strides taken in this field are so enormous that it is impossible to predict what digitalisation will look like in five years. What is clear is that it is a tool to be developed in line with our needs. Ideally, digitalisation would eliminate routine tasks carried out by University Services, as well as help scholars, teachers and students in their work.”

Sari Lindblom, DPhil, is a psychologist and professor of higher education. She served as a vice-rector of the University of Helsinki also during the previous term in 2017–2018 and as director of the Centre for University Teaching and Learning HYPE in 2004–2017.

Cur­riculum vitae

Sari Lindblom CV

Con­tact infor­mation

Sari Lindblom
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
tel. +358 2941 22382




Rector Jari Nie­me­lä

Rector Jari Niemelä is on sick leave until 17 November 2021.


Rector Jari Niemelä wishes to bring the University’s core duties to the fore.

“My primary goal is to promote the research, teaching and public engagement of the University of Helsinki,” says Niemelä.

This requires a healthy work and study community, as well as a communal dimension in the University’s operations.

“Our diversity should be considered an asset. The potential for making the University of Helsinki an even better environment for learning and state-of-the-art research resides within our staff and students. I want to ensure that we have the keys to success. I want to make sure that members of the University community can do their work in peace, while promoting community and occupational wellbeing,” Niemelä adds.

Niemelä is confident about the University’s future.

“The University’s prospects are good. It was good to have had the University community actively contributing to analysing the operating environment for the University’s new strategic plan. In autumn 2019, the actual plan for the term 2021–2030 was drawn up on the basis of this analysis.”

Jari Niemelä, DPhil, is a professor of urban ecology. From the beginning of 2018, he served as the director of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS). From 2004 to 2017, he served as the dean of the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

Jari Niemelä is the 138th rector in the history of the University of Helsinki.

Cur­riculum Vitae

CV Jari Niemelä


Rector's decisions 2017- (in Finnish)

Con­tact in­form­a­tion

Rector of the University of Helsinki
Jari Niemelä
tel. +358 2941 22211
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Rector Jari Niemelä on Twitter: @niemela_jari.

Executive Assistant
Maija Roitto
tel. +358 2941 22210


Vice-Rector Pau­la Ee­ro­la

Vice-Rector Paula Eerola is in charge of research, research infrastructure and postgraduate research education. Her job description also entails innovation activities and business collaboration, as well as the University’s internal IT services. Until 17 November 2021 Eerola is also in charge of digitalisation and library affairs and deputises for the rector.

“Research is the foundation of the University’s operations, the basis for everything else. In my vision, the University is an internationally attractive research community and partner, serving as a beacon of knowledge and education in a rapidly changing Finnish society.”

In autumn 2018, research evaluation was a particular focus of her vice-rectorial duties.

 “The evaluation was done with a constructive perspective. Research fields were not pitted against each other; instead the goal was to conduct a deep analysis of what the units are doing and to help them develop.”

Research evaluation was also essential for the drafting of the University’s next strategy. Additionally, the vice-rector’s to-do list has included the development of doctoral education along with improved integration of innovation and corporate cooperation into the work of the University.

Eerola points out that leadership of a university is different than that of other research institutions. A university has certain set performance requirements regarding the number of degrees, for example, but its duties go far beyond that.

 “Our diverse core duties are even set in the Universities Act: research, teaching and social impact. The University community has a very collegial culture, and academic leadership means leading your peers. The community comprises many different voices and many different fields.”

Paula Eerola, DPhil, has worked as a professor of experimental particle physics at the University of Helsinki since 2008. She has also served as the dean of the Faculty of Science in 2018 and as the director of the Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP) in 2016–2017.

Cur­riculum Vitae

CV Paula Eerola

Con­tact infor­mation

Paula Eerola
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
tel. +358 2941 22382


Vice-Rector Han­na Snell­man

Vice-Rector Hanna Snellman’s responsibilities include international affairs and international partnerships, alumni cooperation and fundraising, particularly on the international stage, as well as the Finnish cultural heritage. Snellman is also responsible for academic affairs until 17 November 2021.

“My work is founded on a solid ethos of collaboration. I wish to further advance the University’s public engagement and international activities in a cooperative manner.”

In the academic year 2018–2019, the University promoted, under the direction of Snellman, the development of strategic partnerships according to the University’s partnership model.

“Our aim is to set up a maximum of seven strategic partnerships. Stockholm University and Peking University are already established strategic partners of the University of Helsinki, joined by the University of Edinburgh from August 2019 onwards.”

Strategic partnerships provide excellent opportunities for both scholars and the entire University.

“Together with Stockholm University, we have established Arctic Avenue, a new initiative, for which an opening ceremony was held in Helsinki in autumn 2018. With Peking University, we are running a summer school for doctoral students, launched in Beijing in December 2018. The first summer school, targeted at doctoral students in life sciences, was organised in August 2019 in Helsinki. The collaboration conducted with the University of Edinburgh also revolves around doctoral education.”

In 2019, the University of Helsinki joined the UNA Europa alliance. In addition to the University of Helsinki, the UNA Europa alliance partners include Freie Universität Berlin, Alma mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, the University of Edinburgh, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. One of the guiding principles of the alliance is to provide the staff and students of the partner universities with new opportunities for study, mobility and work.

“Together, we are building the European university of the future with our partners. The UNA Europa’s four focus areas Data Science & AI; Cultural Heritage; European Studies; and Sustainability will bring complementarity and further boost the grand challenges highlighted in our strategic plan. University of Helsinki is also coordinating a new, fifth theme called One Health,” says Snellman.

Snellman would like to continue building new university partnerships on many different levels.

“Collaboration with stakeholders and partners is important and needs to be nurtured. We must work towards a shared understanding with our partners regarding values, goals and the practices we are pursuing together. I believe it’s important for the University to attentively listen to its partners, as well as sentiments expressed in the wider social context. The University of Helsinki is the only university representing Finland in its entirety. We have activities and units, such as research stations and university consortia, across the country. The University must offer something to its surrounding community, but it must also listen to this community and be in genuine interaction with it.”

In the coming academic year, Snellman will highlight the development of collaboration with decision-makers, faculty lobbying and the development of collaboration with international foundations as part of fundraising.

“We have also become more active in cooperating with Finnish academic institutes.“

Another matter close to Snellman’s heart is getting the international staff of the University increasingly involved in public engagement.

Hanna Snellman, DPhil, has worked as a professor of ethnology at the University of Helsinki since 2012. She served as the dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University in 2017–2018 and as a vice-dean of the same faculty in 2014–2016.

Cur­riculum vitae

CV Hanna Snellman


Con­tact in­form­a­tion

Hanna Snellman
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
tel. +358 2941 22382


Vice-Rector Tom Böh­ling

The duties of Vice-Rector Tom Böhling include bilingual affairs, campus development, social responsibility and the wellbeing of the University community. He is also coordinating cooperation with the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, an important partner of the University. Böhling is also in charge of public engagement and partnerships in Finland until 17 November 2021.

As regards equality and occupational safety, Böhling will keep on working to strengthen equality as a value inherent to the University. In August 2018, the University participated in the national Work Does Not Discriminate campaign for workplace equality.

 “My goal is to improve wellbeing in the community, an expansive whole that encompasses, among other things, the health of staff and students, as well as affairs of equality. We are all responsible for wellbeing, and I hope to see the entire community rise up to the challenge. The more encouraging and positive our community is, the better it is to work in, which usually ends up enhancing results.”

In bilingual affairs, Böhling wishes to promote their natural role as part of everyday life of the community.

 “The University of Helsinki is the only bilingual university in Finland and it is an asset to us.”

Böhling intends to review the University’s facilities and consider ways to engage the community in facility development.

 “Continuous improvement of University facilities and their safety and security is an important part of campus development. It is important to know the demands set by the work and how the facilities support creative work.  I will continue my work modernising laboratory, study and office facilities to better meet current requirements. Supporting sustainable development is among the primary strategic goals of the University. In terms of facilities, using them as efficiently as possible promotes the achievement of that goal.”

Böhling himself wants to be an inspirational leader and a sparring leader who motivates employees.

“As a vice-rector, my duty is to create an environment where working is as easy as possible for both staff and students.”

Tom Böhling, MD, has worked as a professor of pathology at the University of Helsinki since 2012. At the University’s Faculty of Medicine, he served as the director of the Medicum unit in 2015–2018.

Cur­riculum vitae

CV Tom Böhling

Con­tact in­form­a­tion

Tom Böhling
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Susan Sankkila
tel. 02941 24381


Dir­ector of Ad­min­is­tra­tion Esa Hä­mä­läi­nen

The director of administration shall manage the general administration of the University in support of the rector; be responsible for the efficient, economic and effective management of the University administration; monitor issues concerning the University; present initiatives for the development of the University administration; and attend to other duties assigned to him or her by the rector. The director of administration shall also serve as the secretary general of the Board of the University.

The director of administration shall bear overall responsibility for the human resources, finances and assets of the unit under his or her leadership.

Esa Hämäläinen, Master of Social Sciences, is the Director of Administration of the University of Helsinki.

Cur­riculum Vitae

CV Esa Hämäläinen

Con­tact infor­mation

Esa Hämäläinen
Tel: +358 2941 22212
P.O. Box 3
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Executive Assistant
Mari Lehtonen
Tel: +358 2941 22396
P.O. Box 3
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Unit man­age­ment

Fac­ulty of Ag­ri­cul­ture and Forestry

Dean Ritva Toivonen.

Vice-dean Laura Alakukku, research infrastructures.

Vice-dean Kari Hyytiäinen, public engagement, responsibility and international affairs.

Vice-dean Janna Pietikäinen, academic affairs and bilingualism.

Vice-dean Maija Tenkanen, deputy dean, research affairs and equality affairs.

Fac­ulty of Arts

Dean Pirjo Hiidenmaa.

Vice-dean Jussi Pakkasvirta, public engagement, bilingualism and equality affairs.

Vice-dean Paavo Pylkkänen, research, quality and international affairs.

Vice-dean Ulla Tuomarla, deputy dean, academic affairs.

Fac­ulty of Biological and Environ­mental Sciences

Dean Jaakko Kangasjärvi.

Vice-dean Atte Korhola, public engagement.

Vice-dean Minna Nyström, research affairs.

Vice-dean Helena Åström, academic affairs and bilingualism.

Fac­ulty of Edu­ca­tional Sciences

Dean Johanna Mäkelä.

Vice-dean Arto Kallioniemi, public engagement and international affairs.

Vice-dean Mirjam Kalland, research affairs.

Vice-dean Anu Laine, academic affairs.

Fac­ulty of Law

Dean Pia Letto-Vanamo.

Vice-dean Leena Halila, public engagement.

Vice-dean Sakari Melander, academic affairs.

Vice-dean Taina Pihlajarinne, research affairs.

Fac­ulty of Medicine

Dean Risto Renkonen.

Vice-dean Marjukka Myllärniemi, research affairs.

Vice-dean Tiina Paunio, academic affairs and bilingualism.

Vice-dean Kari Reijula, public engagement and fundraising affairs.

Fac­ulty of Pharmacy

Dean Jouni Hirvonen.

Vice-dean Yvonne Holm, public engagement and bilingualism.

Vice-dean Outi Salminen, academic affairs.

Vice-dean Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma, deputy dean, research affairs.

Fac­ulty of Science

Dean Kai Nordlund.

Vice-dean Marja-Liisa Riekkola, research affairs and research infrastructures.

Vice-dean Samuli Siltanen, public engagement, communication and equality affairs..

Vice-dean Hannu Toivonen, academic and international affairs.

Fac­ulty of So­cial Sciences

Dean Marjaana Seppänen.

Vice-dean Juhana Aunesluoma, public engagement and international affairs.

Vice-dean Juri Mykkänen, Faculty Disciplines.

Vice-dean Ullamaija Seppälä, academic affairs.

Vice-dean Petri Ylikoski, Research Units.

Fac­ulty of Theo­logy

Dean Antti Räsänen.

Vice-dean Petri Luomanen, research affairs.

Vice-dean Tuula Sakaranaho, academic affairs.

Vice-dean Elina Vuola, public engagement and international affairs.

Fac­ulty of Veter­in­ary Medicine

Dean Antti Sukura.

Vice-dean Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa, bi­lin­gual and in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

Vice-dean Olli Peltoniemi, research affairs and bilingualism.

Vice-dean Mirja Ruohoniemi, academic affairs.

Swedish School of So­cial Sciences

Rector Johan Bärlund.

Vice-rector Helena Blomberg-Kroll, research affairs.

Vice-rector Anna Henning-Lindblom, academic affairs.

Helsinki In­sti­tute of Life Science HiLIFE

Director Olli Silvennoinen.

Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland FIMM, Director Mark Daly.

Institute of Biotechnology, Director Juha Huiskonen.

Neuroscience Center, Director Jari Koistinaho.

Helsinki In­sti­tute of Sustainability Science HELSUS

Director Anne Toppinen.

In­sti­tute for At­mo­spheric and Earth Sys­tem Research INAR

Director Markku Kulmala.