Published on 19 December 2018
Sylvie Retailleau

On December 19, 2018, the Board of Directors of the Université Paris-Saclay Community of Universities and Institutions (ComUE) elected Mrs. Sylvie Retailleau as its new President, with 19 votes in favor and 1 abstention. Mrs. Retailleau took office on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019.

Sylvie Retailleau will succeed Gilles Bloch, called upon to become president of INSERM, France's national institute for health and medical research. Starting on January 2, 2019, she will take charge of the project to set up the new Université Paris-Saclay, to be created on January 1, 2020.

For several years now, Sylvie Retailleau has championed the Paris-Saclay project with conviction and determination, advocating the university's values and missions while respecting and attending to other partners in a spirit of co-construction. "This project will unite schools, universities and research institutes in a single entity. It represents a step forward that, in my opinion, makes sense for the future of French higher education and research. I see it as a factor of success for all of our students, " said Ms. Retailleau in a recent statement.

She further declared that: "Thanks to the joint efforts and bold decisions of the 14 members of our collective, we now have a blueprint and timetable for the creation of Université Paris-Saclay on January 1, 2020. To succeed, we must keep up the good work. We must formulate a common, shared long-term strategy and determine the organizational nuts and bolts to get this experimental new university ready by 2020. The first step will be to merge the Université Paris-Saclay cluster with Université Paris-Sud; at the same time, we must integrate four schools that will retain their legal personality, establish strong coordination with national research institutes and gradually integrate the two member universities. We will be working with all of the parties concerned to identify which actions can be pooled and how they can be performed functionally within the university so that the value-add of unification can be demonstrated by 2020."

At the December 19 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Université Paris-Saclay cluster, Sylvie Retailleau expressed her deep conviction that "now more than ever, our society needs a university that is demanding yet benevolent, fosters independence of thought for all, and is creative in its action." She also reaffirmed her attachment to a common project vision as well as her determination to advocate and strengthen the collective dynamics, cohesion and sense of unity already perceptible at the fourteen entities engaged in the co-construction of Université Paris-Saclay 2020.

Biography of Sylvie Retailleau

A University Professor and Physics Professor at Université Paris-Sud, ENS Cachan (now ENS Paris-Saclay) alumni Sylvie Retailleau obtained an agrégation in applied physics in 1988 and a doctorate in science from Université Paris-Sud in 1992. Her research at the Institute of Fundamental Electronics (IEF, within Université Paris-Sud/CNRS) focuses on the theoretical study of the physics of semiconductor components for advanced electronics.

Retailleau has been a Professor at Université Paris-Sud since 2001. She was in charge of the Information, Systems and Technology (IST) master's program until 2008, and head of the Institute of Fundamental Electronics' "Integrated Quantum Components for Nanoelectronics" research scheme from its creation in January 2002 until 2011. She was also Vice-President of the Physics Department at the Orsay Faculty of Sciences from 2007 to 2008, Vice-Dean in charge of programs from 2008 to 2011, Faculty Dean from September 2011 to May 2016, and President of Université Paris-Sud until January 1st, 2019.

Retailleau was also Director of the Microelectronics Department at the National Center for Micronanoelectronics Education between 2004 and 2016. She has been a member of the Scientific Board of ENS Paris-Saclay since 2013, the School Board of TelecomParisTech since 2014 and of the Board of Directors of Lycée Blaise Pascal in Orsay since 2014.

She pays particular attention to innovation sharing between research, academia and professional training through publications and educational software. Her love for lifelong learning has also inspired her to become strongly involved in the popularization of scientific culture. She participated in the creation of "Diagonale Paris-Saclay" which facilitates knowledge sharing between science and society.

Retailleau was awarded the title of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.