The University of Tampere has appointed Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, the previous Mayor of the City of Tampere, to the post of professor of practice. Ikonen holds the Doctor of Social Sciences degree and is the current Chair of the municipal council of the City of Tampere where she worked as Mayor in 2013 – 2017.
The field of the professor of practice is urban leadership.
“The job of the professor of practice is to share her practical experiences and know-how on the leadership of a large city and related issues with the students and the academic community,” says Dean Antti Lönnqvist from the Faculty of Management.
“Ikonen’s tasks will also include working with the Faculty of Management’s and the University’s stakeholder engagement issues more widely, such as in various national expert roles. She will also work on reporting and development tasks related to the new higher education community that is being developed in Tampere, especially as concerns expertise in social affairs and health, which are areas promoted in Tampere3,” Rector Liisa Laakso adds.
Ikonen has also worked as State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Deputy Mayor of the City of Tampere, Director of Development at the Pirkanmaa TE Office and as project director and manager of the business area at a consultancy firm that provides services to the public sector. In addition, she is also Member of the Board of the Keva pension institution, Vice-chair of the Board of the Council of Tampere Region and a rapporteur appointed by three Ministries on the future of child and family policies.
“I excitedly take up my new tasks. It is great to be able to develop the professor of practice job and make my leadership experience, know-how and networks benefit the University community,” Anna-Kaisa Ikonen says.
“The University of Tampere and the Faculty of Management provide a high-quality perspective to the development of leadership and the dynamics of politics, administration and business and, of course, to building the new university in Tampere,” Ikonen continues.
The post of a professor of practice is a relatively new job in Finnish higher education. The aim of such posts is to bring practical expertise to complement the work undertaken by the teaching and research staff and to gain benefits related to the University’s visibility and stakeholder engagement.
The Faculty of Management at the University of Tampere will pilot the professor of practice post for a period of two years.
“The professors and other researchers at the Faculty of Management look at the phenomena related to management from their own perspective as researchers, but a person with practical experience will look at things a bit differently. Such complementary know-how and understanding are valuable to both education and research. The concrete examples and personal experiences are sure to be of interest to the students,” Lönnqvist says.