UEF Board  

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 2018–31 December 2021.

Board meetings 2019: 21.2., 13.3., 9.4., 21.5., 13.6., 8.7., 5.9., 1.10., 30.10., 11.12.
Board meetings 2020: 14.2., 31.3., 11.5. , 11.6.


Board members

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 Research Director at the Finnish Centre for Pensions.  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.  Kiander is a docent at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki. He is also a member of the board of directors of the OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, and a member of the board of the OP-Pohjola Group Research Foundation. Kiander is also the vice chair of the Strategic Research Council.


Jari Jolkkonen, ThD, is the Bishop of Kuopio Diocese. His earlier roles include General Secretary of the Episcopal Conference in 2007–2012, Lecturer of Systematic Theology at the University of Joensuu in 2006–2007, Theological Secretary to Bishop Eero Huovinen in the Helsinki Chapter in 2002–2006 and 1997–1998, and Military Chaplain in 1999–2000. Jolkkonen is a docent at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki, a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Eastern Finland, and a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.


Jukka Pelkonen, MD, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Microbiology. His earlier positions include the Head of the School of Medicine of the University of Eastern Finland in 2010–2017, and he has served as a Vice Dean at the University of Kuopio in 2003–2005, and as a Dean in 2006–2009. Jukka Pelkonen has administrative experience also from outside the academia, as he has been a board member of the Hospital District of Northern Savo since 2009, and a board member of Istekki Ltd. since 2011. Pelkonen is the Chief Physician in Clinical Microbiology and a member of the executive group of the Eastern Finland Laboratory Centre Joint Authority Enterprise (ISLAB). Jukka Pelkonen is also familiar with the European research and higher education system, thanks to working as a Researcher and a Research Group Director in Switzerland and Germany for over six 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. 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.




Saara Tenhovuori, BA, majors in literature and studies the Finnish language, pedagogical studies for subject teachers and sociology of art as her minor subjects. She is responsible for academic affairs in the Executive Board of the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland. In 2018, she served as a member of the Student Union’s Representative Council, as the chair of the Student Union’s Section for Advocacy in Joensuu, and as a member of the Faculty Council of the Philosophical Faculty. Tenhovuori has been actively involved in student organisations in a variety of different roles.


Jaana Rekolainen is CEO of the Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce, where she has worked since 2009, first as Project Manager and Deputy CEO and, since 2016, as CEO. Her earlier roles include Head of Export at Finlayson Forssa Oy in 2006-2008, and she has held various positions in SRV Yhtiöt Oy in 1998–2006 relating to activities in Russia, including Head of the Moscow Office and Marketing Manager. Rekolainen holds an MA degree awarded by the University of Joensuu.


Tomi Rosti, MA, works as an Information Specialist at the Joensuu Campus. He is the chair of the Staff Association of the University of Eastern Finland, ISYHY, and a deputy chief shop steward. His other positions of trust include being the vice-chair and a member of the board and the working committee of the Association of Finnish University and Research Establishment Staff, YHL, and a member of the regional committee for North Karelia in the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees, STTK.


Olli Siirola, BSc (Dentistry), is studying for his Licentiate of Dentistry degree at the University of Eastern Finland. Siirola's earlier roles include serving as the chair of the Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland in 2016, and he has also been actively involved in the student body of the dentistry programme. He is also a student member in the Board of the Finnish Dental Society Apollonia.


Matti Tolvanen (born 1956), LLD, is Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law at the University of Eastern Finland. His earlier roles include, among others, Prosecutor and Chief District Prosecutor positions. His main positions of trust include membership in the Board of Adjustment dealing with taxation-related appeals, and he is also the chair of the constituency electoral committee of North Karelia.

Secretary to the Board, General Counsel and Director of the University of Eastern Finland Petri Rintamäki, petri.rintamaki(at)uef.fi.