The Rectorate is one of USI’s central bodies together with the University Council and the Academic Senate. The Rectorate, led by the Rector, ensures the overall smooth functioning of the University and elaborates planning and development acts.
Members and functions
The Rectorate comprises of the Rector, the Secretary General, the Director of Operations, and the Pro-Rectors. Its functions are stated in the Statute of the Università della Svizzera italiana (in Italian).
A transitional phase is currently underway at the University led by the Deputy Rector, who is co-assisted by the Pro-Rectors. The appointed Rector Luisa Lambertini will take office on July 1st, 2023.
Deputy Rector, Pro-Rector for Education and Students' Experience
Lorenzo Cantoni is Full Professor at the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society. He is director of the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication (ITDxC), of the Master in Digital Fashion Communication and of the Master in International Tourism. His research interests are where communication, education and new media overlap, ranging from computer mediated communication to usability, from eLearning to eTourism and digital Fashion, from ICT4D to eGovernment. He is chair-holder of the UNESCO chair in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites, established at USI in 2013. Lorenzo Cantoni has been Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society (2010-2014) and President of IFITT - International Federation for IT in Travel and Tourism (2014-January 2018).
Pro-Rector for Internationalisation
Cesare Alippi is Full Professor at USI Faculty of Informatics and at Politecnico di Milano (Italy), visiting professor at the Guandong University of Technology, Guangzhou (China) and Advisory Professor at the Northwestern Polytechnic in Xi'An (China). He has been visiting researcher/professor at UCL (United Kingdom), MIT (United States), ESPCI (France), CASIA (China), A*STAR (Singapore) and UKobe (Japan). Alippi is an IEEE Fellow, Member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Board of Governors of the International Neural Network Society. He has served the IEEE CIS in various roles, including serving as Vice-President for education and coordinating multiple committees, including the Awards committee. Alippi has received several international accolades including the International Neural Networks Society Gabor award and several best paper awards. Current research activity addresses adaptation and learning in non-stationary environments, graph-basd learning and Intelligence for embedded, cyber-physical systems and IoT. He holds 8 patents, has published a monograph book (also translated in Chinese), 7 edited books and is (co-) author of about 200 scientific papers in international journals and conference proceedings.
Pro-Rector for Research
Patrick Gagliardini (1974) is Full Professor of Econometrics at USI Faculty of Economics. In 1998 he graduated in Physics at the Polytechnical School in Zurich (ETHZ). In 2003 he earned a PhD from the Faculty of Economics of USI with his thesis in Econometrics on the modelling of nonlinear dynamics. He then spent a year in Paris as visiting fellow at the Laboratoire de Finance-Assurance of CREST (Paris) with a SNSF research grant. Between 2004 and 2006 he held an assistant professor position at the Faculty of Economics of University of St. Gallen, and between 2008 and 2012 he served as Junior Chair of the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI). He also served as Dean of USI Faculty of Economics from September 2015 until August 2019. His research interests focus on econometrics and especially financial econometrics, and the results of his research have been published in the main scientific journals in the field. Since 2017 he has been a Fellow of the Society for Financial Econometrics (SoFiE). Patrick Gagliardini is Pro-Rector for Research from September 2019.
Luca Maria Gambardella
Pro-Rector for Innovation and Corporate Relations
Luca Maria Gambardella holds a degree in Informatics and a PhD in engineering sciences and technology, developing a strong interest in artificial intelligence. In Lugano, he is Full Professor at the USI Faculty of Informatics and IDSIA ( Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence USI-SUPSI), an institute of 90 people that he directed for 25 years until 2020, and also the Director of the USI Master in Artificial Intelligence. Gambardella has published more than 300 publications (google-scholar, h-index 72, > 58000 citations) and is studying machine learning and developing algorithms inspired by the behaviour of ants applied to logistic problems. He has successfully negotiated, conducted and implemented several artificial intelligence and machine learning projects funded by Swiss and international research agencies and companies. He is co-founder of Artificialy SA, a company based in Lugano where he holds the position of Chief Technology Officer. He writes novels and creates digital art installations.
Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities
Sonja Hildebrand is Full Professor for the History of modern and contemporary architecture at USI Academy of Architecture and member of the Board of the Institute of the History and Theory of Art and Architecture (ISA). She obtained her PhD in Art History at TU München in 1997 where she habilitated in 2008. Before joining USI in 2011 she held research and teaching positions at TU München, Universität Bamberg, Universität Zürich and ETH Zürich. She was Vice Dean for Research at the Academy of Architecture from 2017 to 2020 and served her Faculty and USI in various functions, amongst others as a co-President of the Accademy Doctoral Board, member of the Accademy Teaching Commission and USI Research Commission. Her research focuses on the history of architectural culture and theory of the 19th and 20th centuries. She was responsible for various research projects at TU München, ETH Zürich and USI funded by the SNSF and other Swiss and German research agencies. Currently she leads an SNSF project on Gottfried Semper’s main theoretical work „Der Stil“ (with Philip Ursprung, ETH Zürich). She published widely on the history of modern architecture and urbanism, architectural theory and education. Her publications include two monographs and ten edited volumes.
Giovanni Zavaritt (1979) holds a PhD in Political Communication and an Executive Master of Science in Communications Management. From 2014 to 2019 he was Head of Communication at USI. Since 2015 he has been member of the Board of the Science et Cité foundation. Giovanni Zavaritt is Secretary General of USI from September 2019.
Director of Operations
Marvin Blumer (1981, Swiss citizen), after his high school diploma from the Scuola cantonale di commercio in Bellinzona, in 2005 graduated in Business Economics from the University of Basel, and in 2015 earned an Executive MBA from HEC Lausanne with a focus on Management and Corporate Finance. Prior to his appointment at USI he gained several years of experience working for global companies, where he took on important responsibilities and gained extensive experience in the markets of the EMEA region. Marvin Blumer is Director of Operations of USI from April 2023, 1st.
Former Rectors and Pro-Rectors
- Boas Erez, former Rector (1 September 2016 - 9 May 2022)
- Giorgio Margaritondo, former Adjunct Pro-Rector (22 April 2022 - 10 January 2023)
- Daniela Mondini, former Pro-Rector for Research in the Humanities and Equal Opportunities (1 January 2017 - 31 December 2020)
- Michele Lanza, former Pro-Rector for Information Development (1 January 2017 - 30 September 2019)