Toomas Asser to Head University of Tartu Starting From 1 August

Today, on 1 August 2018, Professor Toomas Asser will begin his tenure as the Rector of the University of Tartu. The current Acting Rector, Professor Tõnu Lehtsaar, handed over the university's administration, assets and documentation to Toomas Asser yesterday, on 31 July.

As he handed over the documents, Tõnu Lehtsaar thanked everyone for pleasant cooperation. "Support is essential to the work of rectors. I was reassured that the university is strong and able to cope with unexpected circumstances. I wish the university every success in the future," said Lehtsaar, who added that he is planning to take some time off in the upcoming weeks in order to rest.

Professor Toomas Asser gave Tõnu Lehtsaar his heartfelt thanks for his willingness to help with the running of the university during the difficult transitional period. "I have stood close to the university administration for quite a while and I know how much responsibility it involves."

Toomas Asser said that he is already grateful to the university's staff for their assistance in running and developing the organisation. "I will begin my work as rector with great confidence, because I know that I have a strong team. On the other hand, it is a bit unnerving, because running the University of Tartu is completely different from my previous work as a doctor at the Tartu University Hospital."

The University of Tartu Senate appointed Professor of Psychology of Religion Tõnu Lehtsaar Acting Rector on 27 December 2017, following the unexpected death of Rector Professor Volli Kalm. Tõnu Lehtsaar will resume his work as the chaplain and counsellor of the university staff and a member of the University Council on 1 August.

Professor of Neurosurgery Toomas Asser was elected Rector of the University of Tartu on 26 April 2018. His tenure begins on 1 August 2018 and lasts for five years. The inauguration of the rector will take place on 24 August.

As of 1 August, the university's rectorate will also have a new Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs – Aune Valk. Vice-Rector for Research Kristjan Vassil and Vice-Rector for Development Erik Puura will continue in their current roles.

There are also other changes in the membership of the University Council. Professor of Cardiology Jaan Eha will replace Toomas Asser as a member of the council. Irja Lutsar, who participated in the work of the council as an alternate member during Tõnu Lehtsaar's tenure as the acting rector, will resume her work as a member of the senate.

More information: Toomas Asser, Rector of the University of Tartu, +372 737 5600,