The Chancellor of Justice stated on the University of Oulu's decision-making practices

On October 4, 2022, the Chancellor of Justice issued a decision on the complaint regarding the timing of the election of board chairpersons of the University of Oulu and the board's agenda and protocol practices.

The board of directors of the University of Oulu decided on a new chairman and vice-chairman at its meeting in December 2019, in a situation where some of the board members were changing from the beginning of 2020. According to the board's rules of procedure, the new board of directors should not have been elected until at the beginning of the new year 2020. According to the Chancellor of Justice, the University Act does not contain any specific provisions regarding the election timing of the board's chairmanship. The university board could therefore not be considered to have acted in violation of the University Act when electing the chairpersons at the December 2019 meeting.

In his decision, the Chancellor of Justice also brought up considerations regarding the ambiguities of the minutes of the meeting and the absence of the presenter on certain issues. The Chancellor of Justice urged the university to include more detailed regulations on the presentation procedure in its University Regulations.

The complaint also criticized the participation of the chairman and vice-chairman of the board in the selection of the future chairpersons. In this case, the Chancellor of Justice considered that there has been no obstacle to participating in the election of the future chairperson according to the administrative law.

"The statement of the Chancellor of Justice gives reason to examine the decision-making practices of the various institutions of the University of Oulu and how clearly the operating models for different situations have been defined. We will examine the matter and propose measures to increase the transparency of decision-making at different levels of the organisation. Decision-making should always be based on careful preparation," states university rector Jouko Niinimäki.

The decision of the Chancellor of Justice is by nature a statement that he has brought to the attention of the university's board, the rector and the university collegium. The decision has no other sanctions.

See the statement (in Finnish)

Last updated: 5.10.2022