Kaarle Hämeri: “The mission of the chancellorship is to serve”

At the beginning of his second term as chancellor, Hämeri intends to focus particularly on lobbying related to the next parliamentary election.

Professor of Aerosol Physics Kaarle Hämeri, PhD, was elected in June for a second term as the chancellor of the University of Helsinki. The vote was cast by the University Collegium, resulting in Hämeri’s election.

“A heartfelt thank you to the University community for your support and the opportunity to carry on with my work for the benefit of the University,” Hämeri says.

Pursuant to the Universities Act, the duty of the chancellor of the University of Helsinki is to promote science and scholarship and the societal interaction of the University, and to oversee the University’s general interests and operations. The chancellor has the right to be present and speak at the sessions of the Finnish Government which deal with matters pertaining to the University of Helsinki. The chancellor is also in charge of inquiries concerning alleged violations of good scientific practice.

For Hämeri, continuing to instil the University’s values in everyday activities is important. His goal is to make the University stronger in all aspects of its values in five years.

“The four values of our University – Bildung, truth, freedom and inclusivity – are the foundation of all our operations. I will continue to promote, among other things, the freedom of science and scholarship, and highlight the importance of high-quality research and education to society,” Hämeri says.

The chancellor is also responsible for the University’s fundraising. Coming to an end at the end of June is the governmental matched funding scheme for 2020–2022, in which the government provides capital to Finnish universities based on criteria for research impact as well as fundraising that entitles them to receive matched funding. The University has run an active matched funding campaign, raising endowments from large funders in particular. The University will continue to actively raise funds also after the matched funding campaign.

“The results of fundraising are one of the most clearly measurable elements of my work. It’s teamwork involving not only the chancellor, but also the faculties, professors and the fundraising professionals of Community Relations. My goal is to further boost the result achieved through fundraising,” Hämeri notes.

Putting extensive networks to use for the University’s benefit

Kaarle Hämeri’s second term as chancellor will continue seamlessly after the first. At the beginning of the second term, the upcoming parliamentary election serves as a significant point of reference.

“After the summer, lobbying for the parliamentary election in particular kicks off. For my part, I support the University’s goals, which ensure the University’s chances of success and good connections with political decision-makers.”

In fact, Hämeri is pleased that his extensive networks will continue to be available to the University. He has established wide-ranging connections to political decision-makers, other universities, public organisations, the City of Helsinki as well as businesses and business life.

“It’s important to continue establishing and maintaining good partnerships. Long-term, in-depth partnerships with the city, other organisations and business life benefit all parties,” Hämeri says.

Successful collaboration also benefits the University’s students, as they are closely involved in joint activities during their studies.

“Our students and graduates take with them into society the ideas and skills they have gained from the University. For this, ample opportunities should be provided already during studies,” Hämeri points out.

The chancellor’s work constitutes a diverse spectrum of influencing in support of scholarship, research and the University. Hämeri offers a succinct summation of his core duty.

“The mission of the chancellorship is to serve. I have succeeded if the University and the University community succeed in their duties,” he says.