Governance & Strategy

GovernanceUniversité Bretagne Sud is a public institution of a scientific, cultural and professional nature. Since 2020, it has been led by the president, Virginie Dupont.

The Presidency

Virginie Dupont, President of Université Bretagne Sud

Virginie Dupont, has been Vice-Chairman of the UBS Board of Directors, responsible for Finance, Human Resources and Heritage since 2012.
As a lecturer-researcher in chemistry, her research in the Biotechnology and Marine Chemistry laboratory has focused for the past decade on the analysis of seawater and sediments. She has held numerous teaching and administrative responsibilities at  Université Bretagne Sud, including that of Dean of the Faculty of Sciences and Engineering Sciences from 2008 to 2012.

Vice Presidents

Sébastien Le Gall, vice-president in charge of human resources

Mathias Tranchant, vice-president in charge of research, doctoral training and digital technology

Gilles Bedoux, vice-president in charge of training and educational innovation

Christine Chauvin, vice-president in charge of international relations

Yves Grohens, vice-president in charge of innovation

Catherine Kerbrat-Ruellan, vice-president in charge of academic relations and high school-university relations

Sylvie Pimbert, vice-president in charge of social and environmental responsibility

Gabriel Hardy, vice-president for Culture, Sports and Student Engagement

David Menier, vice-president for Vocational Training and Student Entrepreneurship

Student vice-presidents

Alessio Barazer-Rittore-Rittore (Lorient) - vp-etudiants @

Hoël Rival (Vannes) - vp-etudiants @


Chief of Staff of the Presidency


Christophe LE HEN
02 97 87 66 10  (christophe.le-hen @ univ-ubs.frÂ)

Secretariat : 02 97 87 66 10
president @


2017-2021 Development Plan

This plan, as a founding text for Université Bretagne Sud (UBS), is the result of an appraisal, following recommendations and visions for the future that were shared with the University’s internal key players which are consistent with those of its external institutional partners.
As the plan was developed, it incorporated the conclusions of the discussions and work carried out by the members of the University community, which formed part of the University’s self-assessment procedure. The plan also draws on the external framework documents of the external review carried out by the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (Hcéres); and, more recently, on the report by the Inspectorate General of the Administration of National Education and Research (IGAENR). Finally, the plan summarises the proposals of the Vice-Presidents and the political programme of the elected team.
The following information is an extract from the Development Plan, consisting of a presentation focusing more specifically on research.


The challenges facing UBS

The challenges for UBS are four-fold and relate to the following: the restructuring of the higher education landscape; research and innovation; the need to differentiate and specialise; the response to training requirements; and the human and financial sustainability of our activities.
The July 22, 2013 law on higher education and research required institutions dependent on MENESR (French Ministry of National Education) and research organisations to coordinate amongst themselves, and for the former to merge. Since (if not before) this so-called Fioraso law , the higher education, research and innovation landscape has been constantly restructuring itself in a process that is far from over. UBS, which is surrounded by major University centres such as Rennes, Brest and Nantes, has been part of the Bretagne Pays-de-Loire ComUE since January 1, 2016. This is a group or “community” of seven Universities, 14 colleges and five research organisations. In addition, the PIA (Future Investment Programmes) approach, which is based on excellence and strong governance for promoting institutional mergers, has either strengthened the integration projects or undermined the network organisation of the institutions. It is in this context of enormous disruption – and with little visibility – that UBS operates. Restructuring creates potential opportunities and threats, and it is up to UBS collectively to plot our course so that we can be an active participant in our own future.
Against this unstable background, University sites are beginning to specialise and differentiate themselves with a view to raising their national and international profiles. The aim, at the very least, is to have a commercial image for public viewing and, at best, to present a bona fide identity. In the western region of France, some institutions have made a name for themselves based on their expertise in areas as diverse as the sea, botany, digital technology, industry or even acoustics. Although UBS is – and will continue to be – a multi-disciplinary institution, it cannot remain on the side-lines of these developments, even if only because it needs to maintain its visibility and attract funding and skills by asserting its priorities and allocating its resources.
One of the core challenges for a University like ours, where the training sector plays a dominant role, is to address current and new training needs in professions that are going to evolve significantly or that do not yet exist. This is as true for students as for University staff. It is worth remembering that the public service of higher education contributes, among other things, to "the success of all students" and to "the growth and competitiveness of the economy" (Article L123-2 of the French Education Code). Moreover, its missions include "formal and lifelong training" as well as "guidance, social advancement and integration into the work environment" (Art. L123-3). With unemployment in France touching 10% and being in excess of 20% for the 15-24 age group; with jobs changing over the course of a lifetime; and with training now considered a competitive lever for the economy, our University has a role to play in this area using its strengths and expertise.
A final challenge for UBS (and by no means the least) centres on human and financial resources. As shown by the audit, in the assistance and support mission undertaken by IGAENR (the national body responsible for education, research and sport), UBS’ financial situation will be a cause for concern if things remain as they are, in spite of the significant progress made in increasing our own resources and added value. The total payroll / cashable resources ratio is around 85%, when the alert threshold is set at 83%. This percentage indicates that there is little room for manoeuvre and, more importantly, if it is not controlled or reduced, it will result in the next governance taking drastic measures to cut budgets and jobs. It is our collective responsibility to do everything to ensure that our University functions and develops whithin a constrained budgetary environment.
Every challenge has specific objectives and means. However, there are two objectives that are cross-cutting, namely: the quality and management approach Hcéres noted that there is progress to be made regarding internal self-assessment and external evaluation; and the care and attention given to staff and students, with the quality of life at the University necessarily remaining a priority.

Our four thematic priorities

The work carried out by the clusters, especially via the funding injected into the cross-cutting projects, means we can now highlight four priority research and innovation themes with strong links to training: the sea, materials, cyber security and data sciences. These strategic orientations will be found in the 2017-2021 programme of training courses.


The choice of these themed priorities, which are closely related to research and innovation, together with our strong desire to enter international markets, means that particular attention will be paid to them in terms of all the resources allotted to the University’s activities. Obtaining (or not) the Sea and Safety EURs (French-style graduate schools) will also have a significant impact in terms of financial resources and allocations.
We have already mentioned that UBS has a policy that focuses heavily on the profiles of research fellows and research posts and an adapted investment policy. The updating of the skills base, while the number of posts should not increase substantially, will necessitate a better match between the priorities, recruitment and job redefinitions. It will also be based on careful management by established and committed professors. Finally, it may (where appropriate) attract researchers and other staff from research organisations, who are still few in number at UBS.
Once the questions of lifelong learning and transferring the outcomes of research to the socio-economic milieu are raised, the relationship between continuing education at the University, private companies and professional sectors will need to be clarified. At the same time, the creation of a subsidiary in partnership with UBO (Université de Bretagne Occidentale) is envisaged.
UBS’s objectives include increasing the number of International theses and European and International collaborative projects, as well as obtaining International Associated Laboratory (LIA) status. These are also a means and are indicators in the service of a bold and ambitious research policy that very clearly aims to make UBS a key player in its flagship areas. This cannot be achieved without strengthening our links with CNRS, other institutions (including Université Bretagne Occidentale in the first instance), UBL (Université Bretagne-Loire), which we are a member of and which has support tools (the 2PE platform), SATT Ouest Valorisation, the UBS Foundation, the regional and local authorities to which we contribute, and the socio-economic community. We will also need to obtain the HRS4R (Human Resources Strategy for Research) label for submitting European projects. The research and partnership department will also strengthen its support activities for research fellows and researchers to help develop research and innovation at the University.
Finally, to maintain the quality of our facilities and with a view to upgrading them, we will implement a master plan for research investment.