Allocution du professeur Bruno-Marie Béchard,
recteur de l'Université de Sherbrooke,
à l'occasion de la signature de l'accord de
coopération entre la Università degli Studi
di Trento et l'Université de Sherbrooke

Le 12 mai 2006

Signore Rettore,
Chères et chers collègues,

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Sherbrooke, rector Bassi! The fact that you made the voyage to come to sign the cooperation agreement and to present your University to us shows the importance you attach to our partnership. Our will to work together will no doubt lead to profitable professorial and student exchanges.

The decisive factor in all of this was the participation of ARIUS, our international relations agency, at the conference of the European association for international education that was held in Turin in the fall of 2004. On this occasion, ARIUS visited potential Italian partners and Trento, in particular, retained our attention because of its reputation and the closeness of some of its areas of excellence with our own. The Letter of Intent was signed in Rome in June 2005 as part of the 40th anniversary of the Quebec presence in Italy.

Selon le classement publié par le quotidien romain La Repubblica, Trento est l'étoile des universités italiennes à taille humaine, notamment pour l'encadrement des étudiants et la qualité des services académiques et administratifs. En outre, ses facultés de Droit, de Génie et de Sociologie détiennent la première position en Italie, indépendamment de la taille des universités évaluées, et toutes ses autres facultés se classent au 2e ou 3e rang au pays.

Fondé en 1962 à l'initiative de la province de Trento, l'Instituto Universitario Superiore di Scienze Sociali a rapidement acquis une notoriété nationale en sociologie et en sciences sociales. L'institution s'est diversifiée à partir des années 1970 en ajoutant les mathématiques, la physique, les sciences naturelles, l'économie politique, l'économie quantitative, les sciences de l'administration, puis les humanités, le droit et le génie. En 1983, elle a acquis son statut actuel d'université d'État disposant d'une autonomie administrative complète.

Située dans une ville très pittoresque entourée de montagnes et à moins d'une heure au nord-ouest de Venise, l'Université jouit de l'appui du milieu qui se manifeste par une contribution financière appréciable de la région du Trentino. Elle a aussi établi une antenne dans la ville voisine de Rovereto combinant les études en technologie et en sciences cognitives, en technologies de l'information, en communications et en culture humaniste.

Sherbrooke is delighted to forge new links with Trento, based on mutual interests and the sharing of values such as :

  • Concern for people and proximity with the students;
  • Audacious creativity with the challenges it implies;
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, characteristic of universities which have a relatively
  • short past, but a sound future;
  • Dynamism and adaptability to new situations;
  • Leadership in the development of responsible citizens;
  • Cooperation at the local and international levels.

Sherbrooke and Trento are close-knit with local organisations and they cooperate actively with the business community in the pursuit of common goals. Both are considered a major national asset and a source of social, cultural and economic development. Both have received international acclaim and are proud to be associated with prestigious foreign institutions. This, in turn, has contributed to bringing a multi-cultural approach to our institutions with all the benefits that such openings give to the students and the community at large.

En plus des échanges de connaissances, l'accord Sherbrooke–Trento représente pour les étudiants québécois et italiens une occasion exceptionnelle de vivre une expérience d'immersion dans une autre langue et dans une autre culture latine.

We will be pleased to deploy our joint activities with the Università degli Studi di Trento during the course of an up-coming mission that we plan to carry out in Italy this autumn. The fields of possible collaboration notably deal with materials, bioethics, criminality, transnational law, political science, cooperation and social economy, sociology of religions and human science of religions.

Le présent accord est un autre exemple de la vocation internationale de nos universités qui participent à la grande mobilité académique mondiale. Longue vie à l'amitié et à la coopération Sherbrooke-Trento!

Let me now introduce our guest, Professor Davide Bassi. Professor Bassi graduated in Physics at the University of Genova in 1971 and moved to the University of Trento in 1974 where he set up the Molecular Beam Laboratory. He was Director of the Department of Physics from 1986 to 1989, President of the Internal Evaluation Unit of the University of Trento from 1997 to 2001 and Dean of the Faculty of Science from 2001 to 2004.

The didactic activities of Professor Bassi are centred on General Physics and Electronics. He carried out part of his scientific research activity at the universities of Barcelona, Innsbruck, Paris-Nord, Paris-Sud and Waterloo (Canada). He has been the coordinator of many scientific and technological research programs at a national and European level and he is a member of the board of directors of the Consorzio IdEA (Idrogeno, Energia, Ambiente-hydrogen, energy and environment). He was appointed Rector in November 2004.

Professor Bassi…