Rector and Deans

Rector and Deans



Karen Spens portrait

Professor Karen Spens is the Rector of Hanken since 2015 and she will hold office until 2023.

The rector leads Hanken's operations, and is responsible for the economical, efficient and effective discharge of the university mission. The rector appoints most of the faculty and staff, admits students for degree studies, and decides on matters that, in accordance with Acts, Decrees or internal regulations, are not to be decided by any other administrative body of the School.

Karen Spens is Professor of Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography at Hanken. Her research has mainly focused on humanitarian logistics in which she has published several books, co-founded the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management as well as the Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute (HUMLOG Institute).

Rector Spens served as Hanken's Dean of Education 2010-2015. During this time she was in charge of the development of the Assurance of Learning-process, aiming at ensuring and improving student learning.

Karen Spens



At the moment Hanken has three Deans (vice-rectors) with different areas of responsibilities: research and innovation (Jaakko Aspara), education and operations in Vaasa (Sören Kock), and executive education and corporate relations (Anders Löflund). Their term of office is 1.1.2019-31.12.2020. The Deans are members of Hanken's management team.

The Board appoints the Deans and the allocation of work is proposed by the Rector.

Jaakko Aspara portrait

Dean of Research and Innovation
Jaakko Aspara, Grönroos Professor in Marketing

As Dean of Research and Innovation, Jaakko Aspara supports the development of research and innovative research-based activities, the processes for research funding, research ethics, data protection and open science, coordination of Hanken's research groups and areas of strength, and the recruitment of faculty and doctoral students. He is the Chair of Hanken’s Research Council, the Steering Committee for the Office of Research and University Services and the Research Ethics Committee. Professor Aspara is also the Chair of the National Strategy Group for Open Science.

Jaakko Aspara’s own research and expertise focuses on business models, market strategies, product and service innovations, consumer research, brand management, and service business, as well as market research. Aspara’s research has been published in several top journals, such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Service Research, and Long Range Planning.

Jaakko Aspara


Sören Kock portrait

Dean of Education and rector's representative in Vaasa
Sören Kock, Professor in Management and organisation

Sören Kock is rector's representative in Vaasa and co-operates with other universities and higher education institutions in the Vaasa region. As Dean of Education he also contributes to the development of education, the degree programmes and student admission. Sören Kock is Chair of the Education Council and Head of the Department of Management and Organisation.

Professor Sören Kock’s main research interests are coopetition, international entrepreneurship, and business networks. His research has been published in e.g. Industrial Marketing Management, International Small Business Journal, International Business Research, The Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, European Journal of Marketing and Competitiveness Review.

Sören Kock


Anders Löflund portrait

Dean of Executive Education and Corporate Relations
Anders Löflund, Professor in Finance

As Dean of Executive Education and Corporate Relations Anders Löflund supports the development of the Hanken Executive MBA Programme, the open university and other continuous education activities, development of corporate relations and alumni as well as fundraising and the Business Lab. Anders Löflund is Chair of the Steering Committee of the Office of International Affairs and External Relations and member of the Board of the Hanken&SSE Executive Education Ltd.

Anders Löflund’s research areas are investments, asset pricing, performance evaluation, portfolio analysis, family ownership and governance. His research has been published in Journal of Banking and Finance, International Real Estate Review, European Journal of Finance and Global Finance Journal.

Anders Löflund


In addition to the Deans, the Rector's work is supported by a Programme Director and an Associate Dean.

Programme Director
Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen, Professor in Marketing

The Programme Director leads the Assurance of Learning-processes, leads the development of and supports monitoring of the quality of the programmes. Maria Holmlund-Rytkönen is chair of the steering committee of the language centre, the AoL-group and the External Stakeholders Committee, and member of the EMBA Council.

Associate Dean of Internationalisation
Maj-Britt Hedvall, Director

The Associate Dean of Internationalisation leads, in consultation with the Rector, Hanken's internationalisation efforts and international quality work. Maj-Britt Hedvall negotiates with international stakeholders and approves partner agreements with universities abroad.