The deputy ombudsman has given their decision (1327/2018) on the complaint regarding the legality of the University Regulations, including the chairmanship of the Academic Board. According to TREY’s policy document (acknowledged in the council’s meeting on the 20th of November 2018), the chair of the Academic Board can be a member of the Academic Board or a provost of the University.
TREY’s board presented to the council that TREY’s focus on influential work concerning the Academic Board’s chairmanship should be that the chair can be a member of the Academic Board. The decision was made on the meeting of TREY’s board on the 8th of May (18/2019).
The deputy ombudsman has requested the Ministry of Education and Culture to evaluate whether the Universities Act should be specified regarding the University’s autonomy. The board made its decision with this in mind. The board needs a point of advocacy to be able to influence the assesment of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The council decided that TREY should stay strategically neutral regarding the Academic Board’s chairmanship in its meeting on the 15th of May (5/2019). TREY is happy with either of the options stated in the policy document.
“The topic is complex and TREY sees pros and cons in both options regarding the chairmanship of the Academic Board. Due to this, the council didn’t feel the need to emphazise one option over another, since both options are endorsed among students and the university community on a wider scale.”, says the council’s chair Veli-Matti Korpelainen.
What is the Academic Board?
The Academic Board is the highest academic multi-member administrative body that represents the entire university community. The Academic Board consists of eight professors, six other members of the personnel and five student representatives. The chair of the board is the provost. The Academic Board is commanded in the University Regulations.
In the complaint, it was requested that the legality of the decision to approve the University Regulations made by the transitional board on the 10th of February 2018 should be inspected. The complaint was made by the organizations of the professors and personnel and late student union Tamy, who thought that the part regarding the chairmanship of the Academic Board in the University Regulations was against the Universities Act and the Constitutional Law.
What is the Ministry of Education and Culture’s assessment?
The Universities Act doesn’t unambiguously spesify matters regarding the autonomies of foundation universities, so the decision on the chairmanship of the Academic Board is left to be determined in the University Regulations. Due to incomplete legislation, the deputy ombudsman didn’t see the University Regulation to have incongruities with the law. The deputy ombudsman has requested the Ministry of Education and Culture to evaluate whether the Universities Act should be specified regarding the University’s autonomy. The Ministry of Education and Culture will make a statement regarding this by the 28th of June.
More info in the deputy ombudsman’s briefing.