The Board of the University of Helsinki has unanimously appointed Professor of Higher Education and psychologist Sari Lindblom, PhD, as the rector of the University for a five-year term beginning on 1 August 2023.
Lindblom, 62, has served as the rector of the University since February 2022 and attended to the duties of the rector during Jari Niemelä’s sick leaves from 2020 to 2022. From 2017 to 2020, Lindblom served as vice-rector for academic affairs and deputised for the rector.
“Sari Lindblom served as rector during the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrating the ability to lead an extensive university community in crisis. Through her own efforts, she has promoted the status of the University of Helsinki and all Finnish universities in society. According to the Board’s assessment, Sari Lindblom is the right person to steer the University of Helsinki in the next term,” says Niklas Bruun, Chair of the Board of the University.
Previously, Sari Lindblom was director of the Centre for University Teaching and Learning HYPE from 2004 to 2017, vice-dean for research and doctoral education at the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences from 2014 to 2016, and deputy director for research at the Department of Education (and its predecessor, the Institute of Behavioural Sciences) from 2007 to 2015.
“Lindblom has in-depth experience in the development of research and teaching, and she has carried out groundbreaking work by developing teaching at the University on the basis of research. She is a distinguished and internationally esteemed scholar who has international networks in her field,” Bruun adds.
In accordance with the Universities Act, the rector is responsible for the economical, efficient and effective discharge and further development of the University’s duties. A total of 19 individuals applied for the position of rector of the University of Helsinki, of whom the Board of the University decided to interview nine people. After the interview round, the Board invited four applicants to participate in the next stage, an open hearing organised for the University community by the University Collegium. Three of them were selected for the final stage of the procedure to appoint the rector.
“The Board was pleased that all of the shortlisted candidates were highly qualified,” Bruun says.