Kaarlo Hildén selected as Uniarts Helsinki’s new rector, Hanna Johansson the new Academy of Fine Arts dean

The Uniarts Helsinki Board selected Master of Music Kaarlo Hildén as the university’s rector in its meeting on 16 June. Hildén will begin his five-year term in December. In the same meeting, the Board appointed Doctor of Philosophy Hanna Johansson as dean of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Portrait image of Kaarlo Hilden

Kaarlo Hildén has broad experience in the management of an expert organisation. He has been the dean of Uniarts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy since 2017 and the dean of the Faculty of Classical Music from 2010 to 2017. Before his duties at Uniarts Helsinki, Hildén worked as the programme director of Hanasaari Swedish–Finnish Cultural Centre, as the music education director at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, and as lecturer at Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia.  

Hildén has held numerous positions of trust. He has served in the boards of various international organisations as well as in audit and analysis teams, including as a member of the board of the Norwegian Academy of Music, as a chair of the board of Suomen säveltaiteen tukisäätiö (Foundation of Finnish music) and as a member of a team set by the Norwegian Ministry of Education tasked with examining a merger of three higher education institutions in the arts. Hildén has experience in developing the operational culture of organisations, fundraising and management of change processes. He has extensive networks in the arts sector both in Finland and abroad. 

“Kaarlo Hildén is familiar with Uniarts Helsinki and its challenges through his past positions. His visionary and attentive way of working builds a solid foundation to manage the entire university. Hildén is a cooperative and open bridgebuilder, who wants to promote a culture of active interaction. He is also ready to tackle new endeavours with a bold attitude,” says Chair of the Uniarts Helsinki Board Heikki Lehtonen.  

“I take on the position with an eager and humble mindset. Uniarts Helsinki has an important role in strengthening the significance of art in the Finnish society and acting as a forerunner in arts education and research. As the rector, I wish to promote a dialogue and cooperation between the university, arts sector and surrounding society, so that the role of art as something that creates meaning and expands our thinking could be accessible to everyone. I want to contribute to people’s wellbeing and equality in a university community where decision-making is transparent and inclusive,” comments Kaarlo Hildén. 

A total of 16 applicants applied for the position of Uniarts Helsinki’s rector. Executive search was also used as a method of reaching out to potential candidates. The top three candidates in the recruitment introduced themselves to the university community in a public interview that took place in June.  

Kaarlo Hildén’s five-year term as the rector will begin on 1 December 2020 and end on 30 November 2025. The five-year term of the current rector of Uniarts Helsinki, Jari Perkiömäki, will end in November.

Hanna Johansson is the new dean of the Academy of Fine Arts

Hanna Johansson
Petri Summanen

Uniarts Helsinki’s academies – Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy – are managed by deans. Hanna Johansson, professor of contemporary art research and vice dean at the Academy of Fine Arts, was selected as the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts for a five-year term from 1 August 2020 to 31 July 2025.   

Hanna Johansson has academic management experience through her position as the vice dean in charge of teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts, for example. She is widely familiar with the field of contemporary art, and she has studied the relationship between the Finnish contemporary art and ecology as well as the role of non-human agencies in contemporary art. Johansson is interested in the possibilities that art has in introducing a new kind of thinking and in contributing to the creation of the reality. She is the vice chair of the board of the Pro Arte Foundation, which oversees IHME Helsinki’s operations, and a member of the Administrative Council of the Uusimaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation. Hanna Johansson has a Doctor of Philosophy degree, and she is also a docent in art history at the University of Helsinki. 

The selection criteria emphasised a well-rounded management experience, a profound knowledge of visual arts, an ability to listen to the community and make its members feel included, and a vision for the future direction of the Academy of Fine Arts. Hanna Johansson was considered to be the candidate who best met these criteria.  

There was a total of 8 applicants for the position of dean of Uniarts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.

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