University of Tartu announces rector election application process

The main building of the University of Tartu
The main building of the University of Tartu Source: University of Tartu

The University of Tartu has issued an advertisement in press Wednesday, announcing the start of the competitive process to elect a new rector, replacing Toomas Asser, whose term ends later this year.

The ad, placed in Postimees and Eesti Ekspress, two of the major news publications, stated that: "Candidates for the post of rector must be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m. on March 13, 2023."

The ballot takes place at noon, Wednesday, April 20, in the university's main hall, and a successful candidate requires more then half the vote, regional daily Tartu Postimees reports (link in Estonian).

If the election proves inconclusive, then the incumbent rector's term is prolonged by a year, or an acting rector can be appointed temporarily, for a term of up to one year.

Once candidates are shortlisted, a debate is to take place at the university at 3 p.m. on Monday, April 4.

To be an eligible candidate, an applicant must be a professor, or have been one in the past, while only faculties from the university, as well as from other universities in Estonia, may nominate candidates, along with the board of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the 15 full-time professors at the University of Tartu and the University of Tartu's student union.

Nominations must include an introduction of the candidate and include their written consent to run, to be submitted either by email or on paper.

The electoral body comprises the university's board, its senate, members of faculties, student bodies, professors and leading researchers with a minimum of a 20-hour per week workload.

The term lasts for five years, starting August 1 this year.

Current incumbent Toomas Asser took office on August 1, 2018.

President Alar Karis is a former Rector of the University of Tartu.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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