Today, on 20 April, the 292-member electoral council elected Professor of Neurosurgery Toomas Asser as rector of the University of Tartu with 168 votes. The electoral council comprised members of the University of Tartu council, the senate, faculty councils and the student union, as well as professors.
At the election meeting in the University of Tartu assembly hall, 240 ballot papers were handed out to electoral council members in the first round of voting. There were 240 ballot papers in the ballot box. 117 electoral council members voted for Toomas Asser, 71 for Professor of Macroeconomics Raul Eamets and 52 for Professor of Bioinformatics Jaak Vilo. There were no spoilt or unmarked ballot papers.
In the second round, 237 ballot papers were handed out, 236 of which were placed in the box. 168 electoral council members voted for Toomas Asser and 68 for Raul Eamets. There were no spoilt or unmarked ballot papers.
In his brief address before the election meeting, Professor Toomas Asser said that society and the world of science are constantly changing, and universities need to use their intellectual capacity to lead these changes. “As the rector, I promise to work to ensure a supportive working and learning environment, career opportunities and a decent income for all my colleagues and students, to secure Estonian-language teaching staff in all disciplines that are important for the country and the university, to achieve a breakthrough in the university's business cooperation and in startups in which the university is involved, a balance in the funding of basic and applied sciences, and the funding of higher education according to actual needs," said Asser.
Toomas Asser was born on 14 July 1954 in Jõhvi and graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of Tartu State University in 1979. In 1987, Asser defended his candidate of medical sciences degree at Moscow N. Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery with his dissertation on cerebral blood flow regulation issues and stereotactic operations using the original thermocautery. Since 1995, Toomas Asser is Professor of Neurosurgery and, since 2018, the Rector of the University of Tartu.
The rector elected today assumes office on 1 August 2023.