Leadership and Faculty Council

The Faculty is led by the dean, who is selected for a term of four years. The Faculty Council is the Faculty’s multi-member administrative organ, chaired by the dean. The Faculty also has four vice deans, each in charge of a specific area.
Dean Olli Peltoniemi

Olli Peltoniemi

professor of animal reproduction science

Dean Peltoniemi leads the Faculty and is responsible for, among other things, Faculty development, the effectiveness and efficiency of Faculty operations as well as the implementation of the University’s strategic plan at the Faculty.

“My first goal as the dean will be restoring the work community in the post-pandemic era in a way that enables the community to recover from the pandemic as well as increases and strengthens its inclusivity. This will be visible as an investment in inclusive events. In my actions as the dean, my aim is for members of the work community to receive all the help and support that the University is capable of offering.

Another significant goal in the near future is responding to the societal demand for increasing the student intake in veterinary medicine. With the exception of Finland, all Nordic countries have recently increased their intakes to remedy the national and international shortage of veterinarians. The national shortage in Finland in particular requires determined action in the immediate future.

My third and perhaps most important goal is to promote research, teaching and public engagement related to the One Health concept in a world afflicted by the global sustainability deficit, biodiversity loss and climate change. In cooperation with other excellent fields of science at the University of Helsinki, veterinary medicine holds a key role in the search for solutions associated with One Health.”

Vice-Dean Tomi Taira

Vice-Dean Tomi Taira is responsible for research affairs, doctoral education and innovations.

When the Dean is not available and it’s necessary, Vice-Dean Tomi Taira will deputise him.

Vice-Dean Riik­ka Keto-Ti­mo­nen

Vice-Dean Keto-Timonen is responsible for academic affairs and digitalisation. 

“I am a docent in food hygiene. My research topics include food poisoning bacteria and their control in the food chain. 

At our Faculty, veterinary education has been developed with a long-term approach. My goal is for it to continue to provide recently graduated veterinarians with sufficient knowledge and practical skills as well as the capacity for lifelong professional development. Among other things, we will take into consideration the sustainability theme, healthy learning and the development of career skills in designing the new curriculum. I believe digitalisation can help us add much-needed flexibility to studies as well as opportunities for internationalisation. Having said that, the role of contact instruction will remain essential to learning manual skills and building inclusivity. Digitalisation emphasises the importance of pedagogical skills, setting new requirements for teachers. I wish to promote the wellbeing of teachers and support them in their important work.”

Vice-Dean Tar­ja Si­ro­nen

Vice-Dean Sironen is responsible for public engagement, bilingual affairs and One Health. 

“My responsibilities as one of the vice-deans of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine include public engagement and bilingual affairs as well as One Health. I joined the Helsinki One Health (HOH) network at the beginning of 2020 when I was appointed associate professor of emerging infectious diseases. My position is shared by the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, which I consider an opportunity to establish collaboration between the faculties and raise the profile of One Health research.

As vice-dean, my goal is to increase the visibility of research in veterinary medicine and One Health research in particular, enabling dialogue between disciplines and various operators. Challenges in One Health are multidimensional, and tackling them requires broad-based research conducted as part of the international research community and offering research results in support of societal decision-making.”

Vice-Dean Heli Si­mo­jo­ki

Vice-Dean Simojoki is responsible for research and teaching infrastructures as well as the clinical operating environment. 

“I am the vice-dean responsible for infrastructures and the clinical operating environment at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. In addition, my duties include occupational safety on Viikki Campus. My purview also encompasses the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, whose smooth and high-quality operations are of utmost importance to us in terms of teaching and research. The Small Animal Hospital, the Equine Hospital and the Production Animal Hospital each operate in their own fields and are also capable of putting their strengths to use collaboratively.

Recently, telecommuting has made us adapt to a new kind of work culture, and my goal is to enable flexible use of work facilities after returning to the campus.

I am an associate professor of ruminant  health, and my research focuses on bovine infectious diseases.”

Heads of the departments and Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Information for Heads of the departments and Veterinary Teaching Hospital, please see the contact details. 

Faculty Council

The Faculty Council consists of the Dean and 11 other members. The members and their deputies are elected for a four-year term (student members for two years). The professors and assistant professors elect eight members amongst themselves. The other personnel and the students both elect three members amongst themselves.


Chairman of the Faculty Council

Dean Olli Peltoniemi

(Vice Professor Päivi Rajala-Schoultz)


  • Professor Antti Iivanainen, Department of Veterinary Biosciences (professor Tomi Taira)
  • Professor Johanna Björkroth, Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health (professor Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa)
  • Professor Päivi Rajala-Schoultz, Department of Production Animal Medicine (professor Anna Valros)
  • Professor Thomas Spillman, Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine (professor Outi Vapaavuori)

Other teachers and researchers and other staff

  • Clinical Teacher Eeva Mustonen (Katarina Eskola)
  • University Lecturer Mikael Niku (University Lecturer Riikka Laukkanen-Ninios)
  • Hospital veterinarian Vuokko Pekkola (Research doctor Heli Hyytiäinen)

Students (1.1.2022-31.12.2023)

  • VetMed Student Viivi Hilska  (VetMed Student Iida Lilleberg)
  • VetMed StudentMilla Iso-Koivisto (VetMed Student Laura Itkonen)
  • VetMed Student Riikka Kokko ( later)

As the faculty council secretary works Services Coordinator Kati Laalo.

Materials must be submitted two weeks before the meeting.


Faculty council meetings 2023

1/2023 17.1. (Tue), materials no later than 3.1.

2/2023 15.2. (Wed), materials no later than 31.1.

3/2023 14.3. (Tue), materials no later than 28.2.

4/2023 25.4. (Tue), materials no later than 11.4.

5/2023 16.5. (Tue), materials no later than 2.5.

6/2023 14.6. (Wed), materials no later than 30.5.

7/2023 23.8. (Wed), materials no later than 8.8.

8/2023 12.9. (Tue), materials no later than 29.8.

9/2023 17.10. (Tue), materials no later than 3.10.

10/2023 15.11. (Wed), materials no later than 31.10.

11/2023 13.12. (Wed), materials no later than 28.11.