The University Rector is the highest academic authority and is appointed by the Board of Directors from among the full professors who have at least five years of seniority in Università Cattolica, from a list of five names decided by the Academic Senate on the basis of the designations expressed by the Faculty Boards.
The Rector legally represents the University, convenes and chairs the Board of Directors, the Steering Committee, the Academic Senate and the University Council. They promote the convergence of the work of all members of the university community to achieve the goals of Università Cattolica. They issue by their own decrees the Statute and the amendments to the same deliberated by the aforementioned bodies. They may appoint one or more Pro-Rectors to whom they may delegate the exercise of specific functions. They remain in office for four years and can be reconfirmed for no more than two consecutive terms.
On 25 May 2016, the Board of Directors of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore unanimously confirmed Professor FRANCO ANELLI, Professor of Private Law at the Faculty of Law of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, at the head of the University for the four-year period 2016/17-2019/20.
Former Deputy Pro-Rector from 2010 to 2012, Prof. Franco Anelli has been Rector of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore since January 1, 2013. Graduated in Law at the same University (1986), after a Ph.D. in Commercial Law, he became in 1993 Associate Professor of Institutions of Private Law at the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, and in 1996 Extraordinary Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Parma, where he taught Family Law. In 1997 he moved to the Faculty of Law of Università Cattolica, where he became professor of private law institutions. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of "Avvenire Nuova Editoriale Italiana S.p.A.".
Professor Anelli is the eighth Rector in the history of the University founded by Father Gemelli in 1921. From the foundation to present, the position was held by Father Agostino Gemelli (1921-1959), Francesco Vito (1959-1965), Ezio Franceschini (1965-1968), Giuseppe Lazzati (1968-1983), Adriano Bausola (1983-1998), Sergio Zaninelli (1998-2002), Lorenzo Ornaghi (2002 -2012).