Mait Klaassen not seeking reelection as University of Life Sciences rector

Mait Klaassen.
Mait Klaassen. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Long-serving Rector of the Estonian University of Life Sciences (Eesti Maaülikool) Mait Klaassen will not seek reelection next month. He has been in the post since 2008, and his current term finishes at the end of this year.

The Estonian University of Life Sciences is located in Tartu.

Helen Kõnd, student union chair and board member of the technical students' society at said that the outgoing rector has performed his role perfectly, so far as students are concerned.

She said: "He is a very student-like person. He is often seen around our campus, in the academic buildings. He is always interested in the professional societies activities and often visits them. This creates a warm feeling, when a rector comes to personally shake hands after some achievement, and it certainly also increases trust in relations with the university."

Secretary General of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Jaak Järv, concurred that the new rector will have a hard act to follow in Mait Klaassen. 

Järv says he considers the continuation of good cooperation between the academy and the university to be particularly key, while qualities common with Klaassen which would be desirable in his replacement would include: "His straightforward mind and openness, and straightforwardness of communication, while at the same time, also a completely friendly expression even when problems are serious. There is plenty to learn from him."

The students expect the same rector-of-the-people posture and an interest in activities both in and outside the lecture room, Kõnd added.

The vacancy is open to applications to October 10 and the election takes place on October 28.

The five-year term begins on January 1 next year.

Klaassen will be ending his second stint as the rector of the university, formerly known as the Estonian Agricultural University, having previously held the post 1993-1998.

Klaassen's predecessor in the post this time around is President Alar Karis, who was rector 2002-2007.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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