Specialisation School for Public Administration Studies - SPISA

The School was founded in 1955 and since its establishment has been constantly performing teaching and research activities. Over its fifty years of history, it has maintained and progressively developed its presence in legal and social sciences at national and international level.

The Specialisation School for Public Administration Studies was founded in 1955 at the Faculty of Law, as a specialisation programme in administrative sciences at the initiative of the University of Bologna and the University of California-Berkeley, (Presidential Decree 956 of 21/09/1955) with the support of the CNP (National Centre for Productivity), the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, USOM (United States Operation Mission) and the ICA (International Cooperation Administration).

Rector Battaglia played a key role in the establishment of the School, nominating Prof. Silvio Lessona as the first Director of the SPISA. From 1958, with study grants awarded by the Ford Foundation, the best students of the school spent periods studying at Berkeley.

During this first period, the University of  Berkeley, represented by one of its most eminent professors of political science,  Samuel C. May, provided a number of teaching staff to the school. Thus the Scientific Board hosted high-profile members including Milton Chemin and Frederick Mosher.

The Scientific Board also hosted some great names from Bologna: Giuseppino Treves, Antonio Amorth, Federico Caffè, Guglielmo Gola, Guglielmo Roherseen di Cammarata, Giuseppe Cataldi,

In 1957, at the proposal of the Faculty of Law, with the favourable opinion of the Higher Council of Public Education, Presidential Decree no. 938 of 02/09/1957 transformed the annual programme into a two-year programme, "Post-graduate School of Administrative Science".

During this period a detached branch was founded in Rome, known as the Centre for Administration Research, which was coordinated for several years by Guglielmo Negri. The Rome branch ran training courses for officers and executives of key Ministries.

In 1962 the course in Health Law was established, run also at the Rome branch, subsequently - by Presidential Decree no. 242 of 13/02/1962, known as the Post-graduate programme in health law, which is still running today, as a 1st level professional master's programme in Health Law.

In 1987-88 the SPISA was transformed into the Specialisation School for Administration Law and Administration Science, a three-year programme with specific subject areas.

Part of the post-graduate teaching activities of the Faculty of law, the SPISA ran post-graduate courses for business law, now the Professional Master's Degree in Business Law.

Ten years later (1998), in line with the post-university education reforms, the school became the Specialisation School for Public Administration Studies and obtained full autonomy from the University.

By Rector's Decree no. 304/322 of 25/08/1998, the programme became once more a two-year course, and the school took on its current name, Specialisation School for Public Administration.

The history of the SPISA was reconstructed for the 50th anniversary of the School foundation in the book edited by Giuliana Gemelli called "Nuove scienze per l’amministrazione. Le origini della SPISA tra  innovazione istituzionale e normalizzazione accademica", Bononia University Press.