Tiina Rajala, Tua Huomo, Pertti Korhonen and Janne Saarikivi were elected to the Board of Directors of the University of Oulu as non-university community members

At its meeting on 31 May 2023, the Collegium of the University of Oulu elected four non-university community members to the Board of Directors to replace the retiring ones. Tiina Rajala was elected as a member for the 5 September 2023 – 31 December 2025 period and Tua Huomo, Pertti Korhonen and Janne Saarikivi for the 1 January 2024 – 31 December 2025 period. The decision was taken by a vote of 13 to 8, with two dissenting opinions.

“In its decision-making, the University Collegium examined the Board as a whole and the fact that the members represent complementary expertise. I'm very confident that the new members are committed to promoting the development of the University of Oulu and also familiar with the special issues of Northern Finland. I wish them every success in the demanding task of the Board,” says Helka-Liisa Hentilä, Chair of the Collegium.

According to the Finnish Universities Act, external members must represent a wide range of expertise in the sciences or arts in the field of operation of the university.

“The Collegium also considered it important that the new members have a vision for the implementation, development and future of the university's educational task. The selection criteria included knowledge of the University of Oulu and its sphere of operations, links to business life as well as time and willingness to develop the University of Oulu and its networks towards the EU, for example. In addition, understanding of the internationalisation of universities, competence in administration, law and quality work and the ability to communicate, reflect and tolerate criticism were considered important,” Hentilä explains.

Staff and students were able to propose new members to the Collegium, who also interviewed the candidates.

“All interviewees stressed the importance of the university community as a builder of staff and student well-being. Tiina Rajala highlighted the role of the University of Oulu in ensuring the vitality of the region and the success of the northern region, while Tua Huomo emphasised the development of top research and education based on it. Pertti Korhonen stressed the importance of higher education and the related competence as a builder of well-being in society, and Janne Saarikivi highlighted the educational task of universities.”

Five of the eleven members of the Board of Directors of the University of Oulu come from outside the university community. The term of Research Director Anna Rotkirch ends on 4 September 2023 and the terms of Juhani Damski, Liisa Jaakosaari and Kalervo Väänänen on 31 December 2023. Of the current five members of the University Board, Mikko Ayub will continue until 31 December 2025. The Chair of the Board is elected from the external members.

Diverse range of expertise

Tiina Rajala, M.Sc. (Admin.), has worked as Development Director at the Council of Oulu Region since 2014. She has previously served as the Regional Director of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and as a technology expert at Tekes. Rajala also has previous work experience in international business and at the University of Vaasa, where she is an alum. She has served as Chair of the Supervisory Board of Oulun Osuuspankki since 2013 and a member of the OP Group's Supervisory Board since 2020.

Tua Huomo, PHD, MBA, has served as Executive Vice President of the Future products and materials area of VTT since 2018. She is also Vice Chair of the Board of CSC (ICT Centre for Science). She has served as a member of the Academy of Finland's Board, General Subcommittee and Special Funding Subcommittee for RDI Partnership Networks in 2020–2021. Huomo has worked at VTT in various positions in 1997–2001 and continuously since 2004. She has also served as Director of Cybelius SW in 2001–2004. Huomo is alum of the University of Oulu, where she studied Information Processing Science.

Pertti Korhonen, M.Sc. (Tech.), has served as CEO of Fintraffic since 2020. He has previously served as CEO of Outotec in 2010–2016, CEO of Elektrobit in 2006–2009 and, before that, in various positions at Nokia since 1986, first in product development and as head of the Oulu unit and later as Chief Technology Officer and a member of the Group Executive Board in 2002–2006. He is an electrical engineering alum from the University of Oulu and has served as Chair of the University of Oulu Advisory Board since the beginning of 2023.

Professor Janne Saarikivi is a linguist, non-fiction writer, columnist and part-time professor of the Sámi language at the University of Tromsø since 2019. He has been a university lecturer in Finnish language and culture at the University of Tartu in 2004–2006 and professor of Finno-Ugric Linguistics at the University of Helsinki in 2009–2014 and 2017–2021. Saarikivi has been awarded the article award of the Society for the Study of Finnish in 2002, the article award of the Finnish Literature Society in 2007, the Kodiksamia Award in 2019, the Jaakko Juteini Award of the Finnish Literature Society of Vyborg in 2020 and the E. J. Nyström Award of the Finnish Science Society in 2022.

Working group to prepare Board fees

The Collegium appointed a working group to prepare the fees to be paid to the members of the Board of Directors. The Collegium last decided on the fees in December 2012, and since it has been quite a long time since the last review, the Collegium considers it necessary to assess the level of fees from 1 January 2024 onwards. Professor Petri Sahlström, University Teacher Timo Kokkonen and student Lotta Nikunen were elected to the working group, and the Collegium will decide on the fees by the end of the year.

Members, tasks and minutes of the University Collegium

Last updated: 2.6.2023