The Board defines the university's central goals and strategy. Furthermore, the Board elects the Rectors of the university. The Board of the University of Eastern Finland is composed of a total of 10 members, 4 of whom are external members. The term of office of the Board is 1 January 2022–31 December 2025. The Board meetings in 2023 are held 13.4., 24.5., 3.7., 6.9., 2.11. and 12.12. In 2024 the board meetings are held 13.2., 21.–22.3., 25.4., 4.6., 12.–18.6. (tbc),12.–13.9., 6.11. ja 18.12.
Chair of the Board
Lea Ryynänen-Karjalainen, DMus, is the Executive Director of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and a board member in the Finnish Science Centre Foundation. Her earlier positions include coordinator and expert positions at the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 1991–1998, Science Secretary and Science Counsellor at the Academy of Finland in 1998–2004, Development Director at Espoo-Vantaa Institute of Technology in 2004–2008, Vice Rector at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in 2008–2011, and HRD Director at the consultant company Cerion Solutions Ltd. in 2011–2013. She has also held expert positions in the European Commission.
Vice Chair of the Board
Jaakko Kiander, DSocSc, is Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Public Sector Pension provider Keva since October 2021. Kiander's earlier roles include Senior Economist (1997–1999), Research Director (1999–2006) and Research Professor (2001–2006) positions at VATT Institute for Economic Research, Professor of Economics at the University of Vaasa in 2000, and Director of the Labour Institute for Economic Research in 2006–2010 and the Senior Vice President of Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company 2010–2019 and Research Director at the Finnish Centre for Pensions 2019-2021. Kiander is a docent at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki. He has also been a member of the board of directors of the OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative (2015-2020), and is a member of the boards of the OP-Pohjola Group Research Foundation and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation. Kiander has also been the vice chair of the Strategic Research Council in 2015-2018 and the president of the Finnish Brain Foundation (2019-2021).
Siamäk Naghian, Doctor of Science (Technology), is CEO of the Iisalmi-based sound system manufacturer Genelec. Naghian started his career at Genelc in 2005 and, before becoming the company’s CEO in 2011, he worked as the company’s Director of Product Development, and as Vice-CEO. Naghian has also worked for Nokia, serving the company in various R&D and management roles. Naghian holds a Doctor of Science (Technology) degree from Helsinki University of Technology (nowadays known as Aalto University). He has published a number of articles on mobile networks and applications, and co-edited a book on UMTS networks. He holds several patents related to wireless and mobile systems, as well as audio systems.
Katja Toropainen, Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration), is the leader of the Inklusiiv community, which highlights the importance of diversity as a success factor. Inklusiiv produces various events, projects and content, and provides consultancy services and training. Toropainen holds a Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) degree from Aalto University. She is also the former Chief Curator of the technology and growth enterprise event Slush.
Maria Lähteenmäki, PhD, is Professor of History. Her expertise fields are Arctic and transnational border region research, political history, gender studies, and environmental humanities. She has led some 20 research projects in these themes. She is an invited member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters. She has served as a board member in numerous foundations and funds, including Kone Foundation, Jutikkala Fund, and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She also has experience in science administration, thanks to her involvement in, e.g., the Research Council for Culture and Society of the Academy of Finland, the Board of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, the Faculty Council of the Faculty of the Arts of the University of Helsinki, and the Collegiate Body of the University of Eastern Finland. Her international experience has been gained as a visiting researcher and professor in, e.g., the University of Cambridge, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, and the University of Latvia.
Ursula Schwab, PhD, is Professor of Nutrition Therapy and head of the university’s nutrition curriculum. She also has clinical responsibilities at Kuopio University Hospital. She has served as Chair of the Research Council for Biosciences, Health and the Environment of the Academy of Finland in 2019–2021. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Diabetes and Nutrition Study Group of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, as Chair of a panel in the Publication Forum, as a member of the updating committee of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, and as a member of the National Nutrition Council. Ursula Schwab has also worked at the JM Human Nutrition Center in Boston, US, for 1.5 years.
Erkki Pesonen, PhD, works in teaching and research roles in the School of Computing at the Kuopio Campus, and he is also the Deputy Head of the School. He is one of the pilot teachers in the project developing flipped classroom teaching at the University of Eastern Finland and has got UEF Excellent Teaching Practitioner Award. He has experience in academic administration and decision-making through to his memberships in the Senate, a Faculty Council and the Teaching Evaluation Council of the University of Kuopio, as well as the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council. He is also the chair of the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Eastern Finland, and he has served as a board member of the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers.
Tomi Rosti, MA, works as an Information Specialist and as a Team Leader for research support at the University of Eastern Finland Library on the Joensuu Campus. He is the chair of the Staff Association of the University of Eastern Finland, and a deputy chief shop steward. He has experience in academic administration and decision-making, thanks to his previous elected positions. He is Deputy Chair and a member of the Board and Working Committee of the Federation of University and Research Staff, YHL, and a member of the University Sector Advisory Board and Regional Board of Trade Union Pro. He is also Deputy Chair of the Youth Work Support Foundation in North Karelia.
Aleksi Kinnunen pursues a Master’s degree in business studies on the Kuopio Campus, majoring in international business and sales management. He has held several elected positions throughout his studies, including being a board member of the Kuopio Campus business student association Preemio in 2017–2018, and its Chair in 2018, Chair of the Executive Board of the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland in 2019, and Chair of its Finances Committee in 2020–2021.
Miska Tanskanen, BA, majors in literature and minors in philosophy and sociology of art. He has been responsible for issues related to recreation, sports and environmental issues within the Executive Board of the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland. He has also been the Chair of the Student Union’s Section for Recreation in Joensuu. He also has been an active deputy member of the Student Union’s Representative Council. Tanskanen also has a long history being involved in student organisations in variety of roles.
Secretary to the Board, General Counsel and Director of the University of Eastern Finland Petri Rintamäki, firstname.lastname@example.org.