The Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is Franco Anelli.
He is full professor of private law in the Faculty of Law and is the eighth rector since the founding of Università Cattolica by Father Agostino Gemelli in 1921.
Following the original tenure of Father Gemelli from 1921 to 1959, the position of Rector has been subsequently held by Francesco Vito (1959-1965), Ezio Franceschini (1965-1968), Giuseppe Lazzati (1968-1983), Adriano Bausola (1983-1998), Sergio Zaninelli (1998-2002) and Lorenzo Ornaghi (2002-2012).
The Rector is appointed by the Board of Directors and is the university’s highest ranking academic. Selection is undertaken by the Board from five candidates proposed by the Academic Senate on the basis of nominations made by the Faculty Boards. Full professors with at least five years’ tenure at the university are eligible for the position.
The Rector is also the university's legal representative. He convenes and chairs meetings of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Academic Senate, the University Council and the Management Council of the Agostino Gemelli General Hospital. He promotes coordinated operations on all university campuses so that the institution's aims and objectives can be achieved. Through edicts, he issues bye-laws and amendments as deliberated by the previously mentioned bodies. The Rector may appoint any number of Vice Rectors to whom specific functions may be delegated. He serves a four-year term of office and may be reconfirmed for no more than two consecutive mandates.