Jaak Aaviksoo running for re-election as TalTech rector

TalTech rector Jaak Aaviksoo.
TalTech rector Jaak Aaviksoo. Source: Kairit Leibold/ERR

Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) incumbent rector Jaak Aaviksoo confirmed to ERR's Novaator portal on Friday that he will be running for a second term as rector of the university.

"Yes, I have been nominated," Aaviksoo said. "I have been nominated by five members of the University Council, plus several departments of the university. I am currently writing my agreement, as one's nomination must also be accompanied by their agreement."

He added that he would also be submitting his vision to the council of TalTech's development during the 2020-2025 period. Asked what was most important in this vision, Aaviksoo replied that most important is the university's reputation.

"What is most important is our reputation in the eyes of our partners — in the eyes of our future students, our current students and our alumni, but also those of society in general," he explained. "I have put five years of effort into this, and I find that the university's reputation has improved in this time. My wish is that the university would be talented young people's top choice. For young people who want to study technical and economic fields."

Aaviksoo said that he didn't know whether he was the only candidate or whether he would have competition in the elections as well.

"Several other names have also been discussed, and that is in itself very good," he commented. "I can sense that the university has high expectations in connection with the rector elections."

The deadline for nominating candidates for the position of rector of Tallinn University of Technology is 5:00 p.m. on Friday. Eligible to run for rector is anyone who is or has been elected to any professor position at the university and who possesses a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification. Anyone can nominate a candidate for rector, but they must have the nominee's agreement to run for the position.

Tallinn University of Technology is the only public university in Tartu whose rector is chosen by its university council. Candidates for the position will be confirmed at a March 13 council meeting; the election itself will take place on May 18. The new rector's term begins on September 1.

Members of the TalTech University Council include chairman Gunnar Okk, Ardo Kamratov, Robert Kitt, Mart Saarma, Andres Öpik, Heiti Hääl, Tõnis Kanger, Piret Mürk-Dubout, Arvo Oorn, Tiina Randma-Liiv and Maive Rute.

Jaak Aaviksoo

Jaak Aaviksoo was born January 11, 1954 in Tartu. He has served as rector of TalTech since 2015. From 1998-2006, he served as rector of the University of Tartu (TÜ). Since 1994, Aaviksoo has been an academic of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

Aaviksoo has also been active in politics; he served as minister of culture and education from 1995-1996, minister of defense from 2007-2011, and minister of education and research from 2011-2014.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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