As of January 2012, the University of Tartu adopted a new structure of governance (see the University of Tartu Act) which involves external partners in the work of the university by establishing university council as a new governing body. In the beginning of 2016 four faculties (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Science and Technology) that comprise of institutes and colleges, were established. Read more about the governance- and structure reform.
The highest decision-making body of the university is the eleven-member University Council, which holds responsibility for the university's economic activities and long-term development, adopts the university's statutes and approves its budget.
The council comprises 11 members, of whom five are nominated by the Senate (the members for the first new Council were nominated by the previous University Council), one by the Estonian Academy of Sciences (whose nominee can not be an employee of the University of Tartu) and five by the Minister for Education and Research (who is under a duty to seek public advice on his/her nominations and whose nominations should seek to ensure that a majority of council members are not employees of the university).
The members of the Council are approved for a term of five years by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Estonia upon a proposal of the Minister for Education and Research.
The authorities of the previous University Council ended on 31 December 2016, until now Estonian Government has not appointed a new composition of the University Council.
See council members.
The senate is the university's academic decision-making body which is responsible for teaching and research and development work at the university and which should ensure high quality of work in those areas. The senate adopts the statutes of the university and submits these to the council for approval. The senate has the power to exercise a one-time veto in respect of a council resolution by which the university's budget is adopted.
The senate comprises 22 members. The senate is composed of the rector as its chair, 16 members elected by the university’s academic staff and five representatives of the students. Representatives of the university’s academic staff are elected for a term of three years. Four members are elected from each faculty.
See senate members.
The Rector manages the university's day-to-day activities, is responsible for the lawful and expedient use of the university's funds and exercises the highest administrative and disciplinary authority in the university within the limits of his or her powers and pursuant to determinations of the Council and the Senate. The Rector represents the university and conducts transactions in the name of the university to the extent of the authority vested in him or her by the law and the Statutes of the university. The Rector may exercise a one-time veto in respect of a regulation or resolution of the Senate.
The rector issues decrees and directives to fulfil the rector’s tasks.
The rector is elected for a term of five years by an electoral college comprising members of the council, senate, faculty councils and the Student Council as well as all professors and lead research fellows whose workload at the university is at least 20 hours per week. Since 27 December 2017, the Acting Rector of the University of Tartu is Professor Tõnu Lehtsaar.
The Rector appoints the university's vice rectors and administrative director, each with a specific sphere of responsibilities. The Rector, Vice Rectors, Administrative Director, Head of Finance, Academic Secretary and Deans of Faculties make up a committee which is known as the Rector's Office.
See members of the Rector's Office.
Each faculty has a council that adopts a strategic plan of the faculty that is consistent with the strategic plan of the university, adopts the budget of the faculty, submits proposals to the senate to open and close curricula, forms an opinion on the candidates to the position of professors and lead research fellows, submits proposals to the rector on the division and number of student places in the faculty etc.
The faculty council comprises 25 members. The ex officio members of a faculty council are the dean and the heads of institutes and directors of colleges within the faculty. In addition, the faculty council comprises five students and three members appointed by the faculty council itself. Academic staff of the faculty choose their representatives who fulfil the rest of council member places. The dean serves as the chair of the faculty council.
See members of the Faculty Councils.
Additional information: Andres Soosaar, Academic Secretary, andres.soosaar [ät] ut.ee