University of Helsinki: New vice-deans and department directors appointed at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

The number of vice-deans has increased, and their new responsibilities include the clinical operating environment, digitalisation, infrastructures, One Health, and business collaboration. Hannes Lohi, Elina Säde, Marja Raekallio and Päivi Rajala-Schultz were appointed as department directors.

Olli Peltoniemi, the new dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, has appointed new vice-deans and department directors for the term 1 January 2022–31 December 2025.

“In addition to clinical veterinary medicine, the veterinary profession bears a considerable responsibility for expertise in, among other fields, food safety and environmental health. Climate change, biodiversity loss and the coronavirus pandemic have demonstrated that veterinarians are sorely needed in solving the challenges at hand. The basic education of veterinarians is one of the best that academia can offer, since it engenders insight needed in tackling problems and solving challenges,” Dean Peltoniemi says.

“On the one hand, veterinarians must specialise in something; on the other, they need to grow into generalists to meet the demands of society. Clinical practice, which requires advanced special expertise, and its national and international specialist fields will evolve and take up a share of the overall number of veterinarians. The University of Helsinki and the Faculty are tasked with supporting specialist training and the development of skills,” he adds.

After consulting the Faculty Council on the appointment of the vice-deans and department directors on 16 November 2021, Dean Olli Peltoniemi appointed vice-deans and department directors as described below.

“The number and responsibilities of vice-deans at the Faculty have been updated from the beginning of 2022 to meet the challenges of research and teaching associated with the One Health concept. In addition to an increase in positions, this entails new responsibilities for the vice-deans,” Peltoniemi notes.

Heli Simojoki is responsible for research and teaching infrastructures as well as the clinical operating environment, including the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Tarja Sironen is responsible for international affairs, public engagement and bilingual affairs as well as for matters related to One Health, concretely realised in her role as the operative director of the Helsinki One Health network.

Tomi Taira is responsible for research as well as business collaboration, in addition to which he deputises for the dean.

Riikka Keto-Timonen is responsible for academic affairs and the digital operating environment.

​​​​​Department directors in the term 2022–2025:
Hannes Lohi, professor, Department of Veterinary Biosciences
Elina Säde, university lecturer, docent, Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health
Marja Raekallio, university lecturer, docent, Department of Equine and Small Animal Medicine
Päivi Rajala-Schultz, professor, Department of Production Animal Medicine

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