University Management

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,” Niemelä adds.

As for the University’s current strategic plan, Rector Niemelä points to its title.

“’Global impact in interaction’ is precisely the founding principle of our operations, and I want to maintain it as the guiding light. To make it real, the University must be a creative and international environment for learning and high-quality research, as described in the strategic plan. This also means that we have to put the focus on the student,” says Niemelä.

Niemelä is confident about the University’s future.

“The University’s prospects are good. The foundation on which an increasingly strong University of Helsinki can be built together is already there: we have professional and committed staff, enthusiastic and motivated students and appropriate facilities.”

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

De­cisions

Rector's decisions 2017- (in Finnish)

Rector's decisions 2010-2016 (in Finnish)

Con­tact in­form­a­tion

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

Executive Assistant
Maija Roitto
tel. +358 2941 22210
maija.roitto@helsinki.fi

Vice -Rector Sari Lindblom, deputy to the rector, focuses on academic affairs and student admissions. Lindblom has served as professor of higher education and as the director for the Centre for University Teaching and Learning HYPE. Lindblom is a psychologist by training.

“One of my most important duties is the implementation and quality assurance of the degree programme reform. Reforming the degree programmes has been a major undertaking. Now, it’s important to take time for consolidating the programmes and ensuring their successful implementation in order to provide students with opportunities for high-quality learning. We are also continuously collecting diverse feedback from both students and teachers for the degree programmes’ future quality assessment.”

Another significant focus area for Lindblom is the design of various admissions channels to the University.

“It’s important that there are several channels to the University. In addition to certificate-based admissions and entrance examinations, open online courses, or MOOCs, and an Open University route are required, at the minimum.”

Teaching through research

Throughout her career, Lindblom has studied what happens at universities, from learning and teaching to assessment. She intends to continue conducting research also during her term as vice-rector.

“I believe that I have the best chance of being a successful academic leader if I am also actively involved in research.”

According to Lindblom, the promotion of the quality of teaching and learning must be based on discipline-specific research.

“We can develop the teaching and learning methods that best suit each discipline only if we are aware of the specific characteristics of each discipline.”

Curriculum vitae

Contact information

Vice-Rector
Sari Lindblom
vicepresident@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Säde Stenbacka
tel. +358 2941 23365 
sade.stenbacka@helsinki.fi

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.

“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 will be a particular focus of her vice-rectorial duties.

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

Research evaluation is also essential for the drafting of the University’s next strategy, which will begin next year. Additionally, the vice-rector’s to-do list includes 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

Contact information

Vice-Rector
Paula Eerola
vicepresident@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
tel. +358 2941 22382
tiina.hartikainen@helsinki.fi

Vice-Rector Hanna Snellman’s responsibilities include international affairs, partnerships, public engagement, alumni cooperation and fundraising, particularly on the international stage, as well as the Finnish cultural heritage.

“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.”

At the beginning of her term, Snellman is highlighting strategic partnerships.

“Stockholm University and Peking University are strategic partners of the University of Helsinki. During the next five-year term, this cooperation must be deepened further. At the same time, we need to establish new partnerships, invariably a long-term process.”

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.”

Nurturing the national cultural heritage is one of Snellman’s duties as a vice-rector and it is a nationwide mission.

“The University of Helsinki is the only university representing Finland in its entirety. We have activities and units across the country. The University must offer something to its surrounding community, but it must also listen to it and conduct genuine interaction with it.”

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

 “My aim is to develop a public engagement programme for the University’s international staff. Many of them have experience in successful alumni cooperation, fundraising and collaboration with various partners, while many are also familiar with international research foundations that grant funding. Furthermore, those coming from abroad are often eager to quickly integrate into Finnish society. In terms of public engagement, they are in many cases an almost entirely untapped resource. I hope this will change in the next five years.”

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

Con­tact in­form­a­tion

Vice-Rector
Hanna Snellman
vicepresident@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
tel. +358 2941 22382
tiina.hartikainen@helsinki.fi

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.

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. On tärkeää tietää, mitä työ vaatii ja miten toimitilat tukevat luovaa työtä. 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

Con­tact in­form­a­tion

Vice-Rector
Tom Böhling
vicepresident@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Säde Stenbacka
tel. 02941 23365 
sade.stenbacka@helsinki.fi

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

Contact information

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

Executive Assistant
Liisa Hirvonen
Tel: +358 2941 22396 
liisa.hirvonen@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
FI-00014 University of Helsinki