A university that takes a stand

When the University of Eastern Finland was being established, the university’s leadership saw the university’s Intranet not only as a channel for disseminating and seeking information, but also as an arena for dialogue within the academic community. This is not something I can say we have particularly excelled in. Yes, we have dialogue, but it primarily takes place elsewhere in the Internet, in social media, and in channels of print media.

This is the background against which the UEF Leadership Group chose to relocate its blog from the Intranet to the university’s public website. I hope that in the future we’ll also be able to reach readers visiting our website for the very first time.

Obviously, the audiences reading our Finnish and English websites are different, and this is why our two blogs, one in Finnish and the other in English, will live lives of their own. The idea is for our Finnish blog to be updated on a weekly basis, and our English one once a month.

Moreover, the idea is not to give readers a pre-defined “leadership opinion”, as the very essence of universities is to be critical and to take a stand. As representatives of the UEF’s leadership, this means that each author will take a stand in the area he or she is an expert in.

An interesting text is usually one seasoned with a personal approach, and I’m happy to welcome posts more critical than we’re used to seeing in the Finnish discussion culture.

You see, we Finns tend to regard dissenting opinions as invitations to debate. This can, of course, be explained by our largely analytic tradition in philosophy. Without falling victim to glorifying the university institution as it used to be when I was young, i.e. one taking a stand, I personally am a big fan of an atmosphere that encourages researchers, teachers and students to participate in social dialogue.

PerttuVartiainen3_100x130pxPerttu Vartiainen