The Collegium of the University of Oulu has elected Juhani Damski, Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, and Kalervo Väänänen, former Rector of the University of Turku, as the new board members. Their four-year period will begin in 2020 and end in 2023.
Doctor of Philosophy Juhani Damski (b. 1964) has served as the Director General of the Finnish Meteorological Institute since 2016. Prior to this, he worked as the Director of the Development Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications from 2013 to 2015. Before his career at the ministry, Juhani Damski worked at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in various expert and managerial positions from 1986.
Damski holds numerous domestic and international positions of trust. He is, among other things, Finland’s permanent representative in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Chairman of the National Committee of Finland for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a member of the Finnish Space Committee, a member of the Arctic Advisory Board and a member of the Finnish Research Infrastructure Committee of the Academy of Finland. Damski is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Council of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) based in England and as the main representative of Finland at the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
Doctor of Medicine and Surgery Kalervo Väänänen (b. 1952) is an alumnus of the University of Oulu. He served as the Rector of the University of Turku between 2012 and 2019 and, before that, as the Academic Rector in charge of research at the University of Eastern Finland from the beginning of 2010.
Väänänen has worked as a professor of cell biology at the University of Turku since 1998. In addition to his duties as a professor, he has served, among other things, as a member of the Board of the Academy of Finland in 2004–2009, the Chairman of the Board of the Finnish Council of University Rectors Unifi and Head of Institute at the Institute of Biomedicine at his university.
In his research work, Väänänen has addressed issues such as osteoporosis. He has received several acknowledgements and scientific awards.
Experience and academic excellence as deciding factors
The Collegium of the University of Oulu emphasised the new board members’ extensive background in the society and research.
“With this decision, the Collegium aims to secure a diversified University Board of Directors, which is familiar with the changing needs of the university and society as diversely as possible,” says Professor Juhani Niskanen, Chair of the Collegium.
Changes in the composition of the Board also mean a change in the presiding officers of the Board. The terms of Chairman Risto Murto and Vice-Chairman Liisa Hyssälä will end at the end of the year. The Board will re-organise at the first meeting in 2020.
“We thank Risto Murto and Liisa Hyssälä for their valuable input in helping the university to develop and make an impact,” says Niskanen.
The University Board of Directors will be male-dominated, since four men were elected to represent the university community at the university elections held in autumn 2017.
“The Collegium discussed this male-domination of the Board at length. However, the Collegium can only elect board members external to the university community, and in this group we will have three women and three men next year,” says Niskanen.
In October, the Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) elected two student members to the University Board of Directors for the period 2020–2021. The new members are Economics and Business Administration student Joni Ollikainen, and Mechanical Engineering student Timo Veijola.
Last updated: 5.11.2019