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On Wednesday, 23 February, the first meeting of the Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) Council took place. At the meeting, which took place remotely, RSU Rector, Professor Aigars Pētersons presented the university’s management team, its achievements, and key performance indicators. During the meeting, Reinis Bērziņš, Chairman of the Board of JSC Development Finance Institution Altum, was unanimously elected Chairperson of the Council; Juris Lācis, the Chairman of the Board of the North Kurzeme Regional Hospital, was elected Deputy Chairperson of the RSU Council.

In accordance with the amendments made to the Law on Higher Education Institutions last year, state-founded higher education institutions have to introduce councils that are new internal governing bodies responsible for sustainable development and the strategic and financial supervision of the university. To establish a council, university senates and the responsible ministry selected and promoted a number of candidates appropriate for the type of higher education institution for approval in the government, while the President of Latvia nominated one member for each university council.

Thus, the RSU Council is now composed of 11 experienced and highly professional members: five representatives nominated by the RSU Senate, five representatives selected in an open competition of the Ministry of Health and one representative nominated by the President.

The members nominated by the RSU Senate who will work in the Council are Prof. Dace Gardovska, Head of the Department of Pediatrics of the Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Andris Jumtiņš, Head of the Department of Orthopaedics of the Faculty of Medicine, Kārlis Kupčs, Assoc. Prof. at the Department of Radiology, Asst. Prof. Dins Šmits, Chairman of the Board of the RSU Alumni Association, and Juris Lācis, Chairman of the Board of the North Kurzeme Regional Hospital. 

The Ministry of Health selected the following candidates in an open competition: Gundars Katlaps, Chief of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Section at Tampa General Hospital, graduate of the Medical Academy of Latvia and Stanford University, Kārlis Ketners, Director of the Budget Policy Development Department of the Ministry of Finance and Professor at the Department of Economics and Finance at the BA School of Business and Finance, Osvalds Pugovičs, Director of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, Peter Goretzki, Professor at the Endocrine Surgery Department at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and Przemysław Rzodkiewicz, Director of the Public Health Inspectorate of the Masovian Voivodeship in Warsaw.

The candidate nominated by the President of Latvia is Chairman of the Board of the finance institution Altum, a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund, Reinis Bērziņš. He has obtained a Master's degree in Business Administration at the Swiss Business School, a Master's degree from the Law and Finance programme at the Riga Graduate School of Law and is currently studying business management at Stanford University.

The next RSU Council meeting is scheduled for 9 March.