Change in leadership at USI


Institutional Communication Service

22 April 2022

The Council of Università della Svizzera italiana and USI Rector Boas Erez have mutually agreed that the Rector's term of office will terminate on 9 May, after USI's Dies academicus. The agreement recognises that Boas Erez, with his team, has led USI to achieve excellent academic results. However, differences of opinion exist with the USI Council on the administrative management of the University. Prof. Erez will continue his activities at USI as a full professor. 

In the transitional phase, Pro-rector Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni will take on the role of Deputy Rector. As of 9 May, he will replace the departing Rector with the support of the other current Pro-rectors, who have been reappointed, as well as that of an Adjunct Pro-rector, Prof. Giorgio Margaritondo. An open call for applications will be launched shortly to find the new USI Rector, whose appointment, expected in a few months' time, will end the interim phase and the charges of Deputy Rector and Assistant Pro-rector. 

After the expansion phase of the first 20 years of USI, a consolidation phase has been carried out during Boas Erez's Rectorate with the increased cohesion of the academic pole of the Swiss Italian-speaking region, the creation of a common USI-EOC strategy for research in human medicine, the affiliation to USI of IRSOL and the Faculty of Theology, and with the greater academic consolidation of the institutes already affiliated. The strengthening of the services offered by the University to its region is also significant. It has led, for example, to the strengthening of the innovation and start-up hub, to activities that reached out to the community during USI's recent twenty-fifth birthday, to the creation of the new headquarters of the Archivio del Moderno, and the House of Sustainability project in Airolo. USI has also strengthened its international reach with a systematic effort to develop partnership agreements in education and research. Furthermore, Prof. Erez has worked to enhance the academic and organisational structures by proposing the creation of Pro-rectorates and increasing university democracy by promoting the birth of the Academic Senate and the Student Corporation. 

USI faces this new phase on the strength of the best figures in terms of students (3,923), a tangible sign of confidence in a mature academic institution, of competitive research funding (over 28 million francs), and international rankings. 

The Dies academicus will be held on Saturday, 7 May at 10 am in the West Campus Lugano Aula magna. The annual gathering is a chance to meet and share information on the development of USI, and this year it will be the last official public appearance as Rector of Prof. Boas Erez. Both the Rector and the President of the USI Council, Monica Duca Widmer, will be available to the media on that occasion.