Bocconi University: Francesco Billari Appointed Rector for the 2022-2024 Two-Year Period


Currently Deputy Rector and Dean of the Faculty, he will take office on 1 November, at the end of Gianmario Verona's six-year tenure. The appointment took place today at the meeting of the University Board, on the proposal of the President Mario Monti.

On the proposal of the President Mario Monti, the Bocconi University Board unanimously appointed Francesco Billari Rector of the University for the 2022-2024 two-year period. Billari will take office on 1 November, at the end of Gianmario Verona's six-year Rectorship.

With a degree in Political Economy from Bocconi University in 1994 and a PhD from the University of Padua, Billari was leader of a research group at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. He was President of the European Association for Population Studies and of the Italian Association for Population Studies.

"The University Board’s heartfelt thanks, and my own, go to Gianmario Verona for what has been achieved in terms of expanding the fields of study in the area of social sciences, innovation of the teaching model, and development of entrepreneurship and the digital realm," underlined President Monti, "and in general in all the directives that characterized his Rectorship. From November, for the next two years the torch will pass to Francesco Billari, whose solid academic curriculum, together with significant international experience, represents a guarantee of scientific authority and modern vision of the social sciences. These are indispensable prerequisites for consolidating the objectives reached so far and helping Bocconi grow along the trajectory outlined by the Strategic Plan and Vision 2030."

In the Statement of Strategic Direction for the Rector's term approved by the Board, the main paths of the next two years will concern:

  • research: with particular reference to impact and interdisciplinary approach, expansion into fields of the cognitive sciences and the continuous strengthening of the Faculty with attention to diversity of gender and nationality;
  • teaching: with a focus on the educational offer at the Master of Science level, increasingly central to the international attractiveness of talented students, and the use of digital tools and online teaching that have characterized in particular the last few years. These are essential to enabling in-person sessions aimed at developing students' skills and critical thinking to be held in smaller groups. Regarding SDA Bocconi, the path outlined will continue with particular reference to internationalization, digitalization of the educational offer, and a multidisciplinary approach;
  • social mobility: with the promotion of programs for students' access to university studies regardless of economic and social conditions, thus favoring the University’s role of social elevator both nationally and internationally, with particular attention to refugees;
  • stakeholders: as a modern European university in a position to impact people and society, Bocconi will have to continue to strengthen its relations and engage all its stakeholders. This starts with the communities to which it belongs, alumni, academic and corporate partners, national and international institutions, and also refers to the Third Mission aimed at valorizing and disseminating knowledge.

"The challenge that I have the honor of taking up, and the opportunity for which I thank the President and all the members of the Board, is inspiring and ambitious," said Francesco Billari. “It is about contributing to the development of a global and inclusive university, always at the forefront in the development of original and relevant knowledge, with a strong passion for teaching and for the development of the new generations who will respond to the challenges of our society. I thank Gianmario Verona for having chosen me as his Deputy in these years, thus giving me the chance to develop habits and skills essential to guide Bocconi towards the achievement of its objectives."

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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