Implementer of great ideas

Paavo Koli

Rector 1962–1968

Paavo Koli adopted the guiding principle of ‘think big’ from his trips to the United states. This was his principle in his development and leading of the university.

The quick expansion of the university in the 1960s is personified by Paavo Koli. At the start of Koli’s term, the School of Social Sciences consisted of one faculty, with a total of approximately 1,600 students in the entire institution. Six years later, the institution’s name had changed to the University of Tampere, the institution now had three faculties, and the number of students had increased to over six thousand.

Koli made several study trips to the United States that played a key role in his career as a sociologist, rector and maker of scientific policy. He generated great ideas during and as a result of his trips, understood societal change and saw that new academic tasks were being created in the fields of cultural services and in the public domain more generally. In a short amount of time, Koli was able to develop numerous proposals that proved to be both open-minded and exceptionally visionary.

Artist: Tauno Nummi, 1980