Professor Rimvydas Petrauskas was inaugurated as Rector of Vilnius University on 1 April 2020, in the 441st year of the University.
The essential part of the Rector prof. R. Petrauskas' programme idea is to enable the University as a wise and creative community based on consensus and trust. The Rector considers the main priorities to be the orientation of studies towards the development of a full-fledged and creative personality, the development of interdisciplinary and internationality of science, and the strengthening of the role of the university in society and the state. The structural and subject diversity of the university is perceived as a strength that provides a unique opportunity to try different ways of working, thus increasing the potential of the institution.
The Rector of Vilnius University is the sole governing body and head of the University, which together with the Council and the Senate takes care of ensuring the autonomy and community self-government of the University and the quality of the University's activities. The essential task of the Rector is to gather and lead the search for consensus and contractual solutions in response to the changing situation.
Prof. R. Petrauskas holds a Bachelor's degree in History, a Master's degree and a Doctor of Humanities from Vilnius University. Research area – 13th–16th c. political and social history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He studied and did internships at the Universities of Basel, Berlin, Greifswald and Krakow, the German Institute of History in Warsaw, and the Herder Institute in Marburg (Germany). He has published monographs and articles from the field of research in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Also, prof. R. Petrauskas is a member of several international academic organizations, and a member of the editorial boards of ten scientific journals.
Rector prof. R. Petrauskas is a member of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, president of the Lithuanian National Committee of Historians, member of the International Historical Commission of the German Order, former Dean of the Faculty of History (2012–2020), Chairman of the Lithuanian Science Council Board, Chairman of the State Lithuanian Research Dissemination Programme, Member of the Lithuanian Council for Higher Education.
Prof. R. Petrauskas is awarded by the Rector's Prizes of Vilnius University for scientific and pedagogical activities (2003, 2009, 2019), Lithuanian National Science Prize (2019), Knight's Cross of the Order of Gediminas (2018), Knight's Cross of the Order of the Republic of Poland (2019).
The Rector of Vilnius University is elected for five years by a public competition determined by the Council of Vilnius University.