The University was founded on the ruins of the terrible earthquake of 1980. On 23 November a shock of the 10th degree of the Mercalli scale (magnitude 6.9) devastated Campania and Basilicata causing 2,914 deaths. The earthquake followed the intervention of the State for the process of reconstruction of the areas affected by the earthquake, with the approval of the Law 219 of 1981, which actually set up the University project.
"That is why we celebrate our annual dies academicus on November 23 of each year, because the University is for Lucan people a sign of rebirth and resurrection, of glorious return to life, of conscious hope for a better future".
(Cosimo Damiano Fonseca, Rector of the University of Basilicata , greeting address on the occasion of the Pope's visit, 1991)
In reality, the idea of establishing a University of Basilicata dates back to the previous decade. The newly founded Basilicata Region in fact asked the Formez (Center for Formation and Studies for the South) a preliminary study on November 9, 1971, which was carried out by a specific work group and delivered on February 13, 1973. But it was only after the 1980 earthquake , and with the laws of 1981, that the project had a real and concrete impulse. The embryo of the University, in fact, is contained in the articles 39 to 45 of the law 219. In particular, it is 39 to pose the first virtual stone: "With effect from the academic year 1982-1983 the University is established State University of Basilicata with headquarters in Potenza ".
Immediately afterwards, all the procedures to set up the academic structure, from a normative, organizational and logistical point of view, also started.
The" building "process of the University then passed through the 27 April 1982, with the establishment of the technical-administrative committee (made up of representatives of the Region, the Ministry of Education and the Lucan political world), to arrive on 21 July 1982, the day of the inauguration of the Academic Senate in Rome, in headquarters of the Directorate General for University Education. From November 1, 1982, the presidencies of the committee and of the academic Senate were assumed by Cosimo Damiano Fonseca, first rector of the University of Basilicata (position that he held until the academic year 1993-1994). On August 30, 1983, the Statute of the new Lucan University was approved by decree of the President of the Republic: the technical-scientific committee that compiled it included Sabino Cassese, Giovanni Marongiu, Giunio Luzzato and Sergio Zoppi.
Four faculties were set up (Agraria , Engineering, Science, Literature) with nine degree courses. Hydraulic engineering represented a novelty in the educational offer scenario, to which was added another didactic innovation for that scientific field: the defense of the soil and the territorial planning. On November 23rd 1983, the President of the Republic, Sandro Pertini, inaugurated the academic year 1983-1984, starting the activities of the nine degree courses. During that first inaugural ceremony, the rector Fonseca also specified the data on the first registrations, '' with a question that proved to be much wider than expected ': 892 members in total until November 5 of that year, 63 per cent of males and 37 per cent were women, 38 per cent chose Agraria, 31 per cent Engineering and 20 per cent Letters, and enrolled in the first academic year 904. The student population, after a first biennium, in the academic year 1986-1987 will be 1,530 people (831 males and 698 women), 2,237 in 1989 and 4,167 in 1994, to reach the figure of five thousand members (according to the initial project) in the year academic 1999-2000, and reach 7,500 in 2002-2003.
Taking a step back to the history of the Unibas, it was Pertini himself, on September 18, 1984, to sign the decree for the granting of the seal to the University. The first academic seat was the one built in Potenza, in via Nazario Sauro, on a surface of 142 square meters (compared to about 96 thousand today on which the poles of Potenza and Matera extend). At the end of 1986 the inter-university library was opened in Potenza, via Acerenza, which today is located in via Nazario Sauro: the book heritage was about 56 thousand volumes, to which another 7,500 were added, coming from different donations . July 13, 1988 is another of those important days marked on the calendar of the University of Lucania: the new Head of State, Francesco Cossiga, in fact, receives the first graduates in the Quirinale. On November 26, it was instead a president of the Council, Ciriaco De Mita, to attend the inauguration of the academic year 1988-1989. And it was still De Mita, in 1990, to participate again in the inauguration of the academic year. But the ceremony was enriched by another historical moment: the parchment was signed for the laying of the first stone of the Polo of Macchia Romana, designed to give the University a second pole in the capital of Lucania, after the original one of the Francioso.
was then established the Irsub (Regional Institute for the right to education) which became in 1997 Ardsu, the regional company for the right to university study, for the care of services to students (catering, accommodation, scholarships, projects Socrates , Erasmus).
1991 is the year of great visits to the young University. The first was that of the Pope: on 28 April John Paul II returned to Basilicata after the tragedy of the earthquake, which reminds him close to the Lucanian populations, to receive from the hands of the rector the medal of the tenth anniversary.
"Obvious to the culture in the most conscious and committed form.It has, therefore, a native and essential relationship with man.Technical research, as a complex process of humanization, involves all the realities, from the person to the community, from nature to technology, from social structures to the institutions, and proposes to make them more and more human, more appropriate, that is to the dignity and freedom of man. "
(John Paul II, speech in the Great Hall of the Unibas, 1991)
Less than a month later On May 14, 1991, the President of the Republic, Francesco Cossiga, received the medal and continued the path traced by his predecessor, Sandro Pertini, who baptized the University.
"I must say that, above all, they should not lose the wonderful opportunity, I would say the magical occasion, which they have in these years of study and research. For years they will not come back. (...) I, you guys from Basilicata, I would like to address another invitation which, like all invitations, also has exceptions, my invitation is to have the courage to remain in this unfortunate South, and in this poor land of Calanchi "
(Francesco Cossiga to the Lucanian students, speech in the Great Hall of the Unibas, 1991)
After Cossiga, all the presidents of the Republic will visit the University: on December 6th, 1993 it is up to Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, recently elected, to participate in the inauguration of the academic year 1993-1994. After Scalfaro, it will be the turn of Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, on 19 September 2001, and then that of Giorgio Napolitano, on 2 October 2009.
The Matera office, on the other hand, was officially inaugurated in 1992: February 7 was the city of the Sassi to host the opening ceremony of the academic year 1992-1993 in the building that houses the school of specialization in Archeology (compared to November ceremonies in the headquarters of Potenza), just to give highlighted the event. Also in 1992, but on May 14, the first stone was laid for the construction of the scientific pole of Macchia Romana, in Potenza: the structure (whose preliminary design was approved in 1987) was inaugurated on 11 February 2000, completing the University of Basilicata the "map" of the offices as it is today.
From 2010 to 2012, legislative reforms brought about a change in the structure of the University. The provisions contained in law 240 of 2010 - "Rules on the organization of universities, academic staff and recruitment" - have governed the modalities according to which the University has modified the Statute, with regard to the governing bodies and the articulation In 2012, six primary Structures were established (four Departments - Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures: architecture, environment, cultural heritage (DICEM), Department of Mathematics, Informatics and Economics (DiMIE), Department of Sciences (DiS) and the Department of Human Sciences (DiSU) - and two Schools, Engineering (SI-UniBas) and Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences SAFE), in which the functions of the pre-existing twelve Departments and of the eight Faculties have merged.
1982-1994 Cosimo Damiano Fonseca
1994-2000 Gianfranco Boari
2000-2006 Francesco Lelj Garolla Di Bard
2006-2009 Antonio Mario Tamburro
2009-2014 Mauro Fiorentino
2014 Aure lia Sole
-A Basilicata for development. Decennial of the University of Basilicata - Potenza (1981-1991), Potenza, University of Basilicata, 1991.
-C.D. FONSECA, University of Basilicata. Utopia and project, Galatina, Congedo, 1994.
-C.D. FONSECA, Decade of the University of Basilicata, 1981-1991, Potenza, (t.Zafarone and Di Bello), 1992.
-LERRA, The University of Basilicata, in History of the Universities in Italy, vol. 3, edited by G: Brizzi, P. Del Negro, A. Romano, CISUI, Messina Sicania, pp. 505-508.
-LERRA, For a history of the University of Basilicata, in the historical bulletin of Basilicata, n. 20, pp. 267-277, edited by the Deputation of History, homeland for Lucania, Osanna editions, 2004.
-Founding law and bylaws. University of Basilicata, Potenza (T. Zafarone and Di Bello), 1982.
-G. DE LUCA, D. GNAZZO, University of Basilicata: a case of local development, in N. MARTINELLI, P. ROVIGATTI, University, city and territory in Southern Italy, pp. 147-183, Milan, 2015.