On 26 April 2018, the 263-member electoral council elected Professor of Neurosurgery Toomas Asser as rector of the University of Tartu with 187 votes.
The electoral council is composed of members of the UT council, senate, faculty councils and the student council, and professors and research professors. At the election meeting today in the University of Tartu assembly hall, 218 ballot papers were handed out to members of the electoral council. There were 218 ballots in the ballot box. Toomas Asser received the votes of 120 members of the electoral council, and his opposite candidate, Professor of Practical Philosophy Margit Sutrop got 95 votes. There were no invalid ballot papers.
In the second voting round, the candidate was Professor Toomas Asser who gained more votes than the other candidate in the first round. There were 212 ballots in the ballot box. Toomas Asser received the votes of 187 members of the electoral council. In order to be elected, the candidate needed to receive the votes of more than a half of the members of the electoral council, i.e. at least 132 votes.
In his short speech at the beginning of the election meeting, Professor Toomas Asser said he was ready to commit to the service of the University of Tartu in the next five years. “Here in this assembly hall I took the medical oath for my whole life, and I have unwaveringly adhered to it for nearly forty years now. I am also ready to give the rector’s oath to be the rector for you all,” said Asser.
Toomas Asser was born on 14 July 1954 and graduated from Tartu State University in Medicine in 1979. In 1987, he defended his dissertation “Thermocauterisation of ventrolateral thalamus for the treatment of Parkinson's disease” in Moscow and was awarded the candidate of sciences degree (PhD) in medicine. Toomas Asser has been Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Tartu since 1995 and Head of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery since 1996. In 2011, he was elected a member of the Estonian Academy of Sciences.
The elected rector assumes office on 1 August 2018.