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Page updated 19.6.2014
River Aura

PhD Vesa Taatila appointed as TUAS Ltd’s Rector/Managing Director

The Board of Turku University of Applied Sciences Ltd has today appointed PhD Vesa Taatila, Vice Rector of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, to the new post of Rector/Managing Director of the company.

The candidate’s strong knowledge of pedagogy and tuition as well as a previous career in business life, e.g. at Metso Group and Sonera, were highlighted in the choice. The new Rector/Managing Director will start in his post on 1 October.

By a decision of the Company Board on 26 March, the post of Rector/Managing Director was opened for public recruitment, according to the Group Operating Instructions of the City of Turku. The post is new to the company. It includes the requirements of the Finnish Polytechnics Act and Limited Liability Companies Act. The advertisement recruitment, which ended on 9 May, received almost 20 applications, and alongside it, a direct recruitment process was carried out.

The Company Board interviewed the six best candidates, and after aptitude tests, the Board decided in its meeting on 11 June to ask for an owner’s anticipatory view on the selection of the Rector/Managing Director. On 16 June, the Group Division of the City gave the Company instructions, according to which the Board decided today, on 18 June, to appoint PhD Vesa Taatila as the Rector/Managing Director.

“In terms of future success of the new limited liability company, it was crucial to find the best possible leader for Turku University of Applied Sciences. We wanted to find a doer and a visionary, who has versatile experience and demonstrations of successes, and the qualities to encourage both staff and students to participate in the work. The current Rector, Juha Kettunen, has succeeded in a very distinguished manner in the post that has lasted almost 15 years. In his time, Turku University of Applied Sciences has become one of the largest and most prominent universities of applied sciences in Finland. However, each period of time demands different leadership and renewal”, says Chairman of the Board, Jouko K. Lehmusto.

Specialised in innovation pedagogy

In the recruitment criteria, TUAS Ltd emphasised experience on leading an expert organisation, strong demonstrations of a capability to cooperate between working life and education and research organisations, and experience on developing innovation environments. As Vesa Taatila was appointed, these criteria were fulfilled, because for the past two years Taatila has worked as Vice Rector of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and before that, at Laurea University of Applied Sciences, mainly as Principal Lecturer in Innovation Management.

In business life, Taatila has worked, for example, as Senior Vice President, HRD at Metso Group, Competence Director at Sonera Ltd and as Vice President at Talent Partners.

Vesa Taatila completed his matriculation examination at Loimaa Upper Secondary School in 1988 and lived in Loimaa from 1980 to 1989. Taatila, who is 45 years old, has a PhD in cognitive science and an MSc in physics. He also has a docentship at the Faculty of Education of the University of Turku, where he specialises in innovation pedagogy.

“As an actor that is multidisciplinary and has a strong impact on the vitality of the region, Turku University of Applied Sciences is a very interesting expert community. A group of over 10 000 current and future experts has so much strength that I believe we can improve our results even more, despite the constant tightening of the national economy. I’m happy to become a part of the skilled crew and support the development of the entire Southwest Finland”, Vesa Taatila says happily.