Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is one of USI's central bodies, together with the University Council and the Rectorate. Among its various functions, it expresses views and makes proposals on issues of general interest to USI, promotes cooperation and cohesion within the University, approves study regulations and formally makes appointments of professors. 

It was created in December 2016 with the purpose to strengthen the unity across the academic community, by initiative of the first USI Rector, Prof. Boas Erez.


Structure and functions

The structure and functions of the Academic Senate are defined in the Statute of Università della Svizzera italiana (in Italian).



The operating procedures of the Academic Senate are defined in the relevant Regulation, which determines, among other things, the elections, the sessions and their conduct, and the voting mechanism.



Current members


Faculty representatives


Assistants representatitives


Students representatives


Staff representatives


Faculty Deans (Ex-Officio members)

The Rector of the Lugano Faculty of Theology, René Roux, takes part in the sessions of the Academic Senate as a non-voting guest.


Rectorate (Ex-Officio members)

  • Lorenzo Cantoni, Deputy Rector (Chair of the Senate), Pro-Rector for Education and Students' Experience
  • Cesare Alippi, Pro-Rector for Internationalisation
  • Patrick Gagliardini, Pro-Rector for Research
  • Luca Maria Gambardella, Pro-Rector for Innovation and Corporate Relations
  • Sonja Hildebrand, Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities
  • Giovanni Zavaritt, member of the Transition Committee (permanent guest - partecipates in the Senate sessions without voting rights)
  • Antoine Turner, member of the Transition Committee (permanente guest - participates in the Senate sessions without voting rights)



A transitional phase is currently underway at the University led by the Deputy Rector, who is co-assisted by the Pro-Rectors. At the same time, reorganisation is also taking place at an administrative level whereby the functions of Secretary General, Administrative Director and Deputy Administrative Director are currently carried out by a Transition Committee (more information).