The University was founded in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake of 1980. On November 23, a shake of the tenth degree of the Mercalli scale (magnitude 6.9) he destroyed the Campania and Basilicata, causing 2,914 deaths. At earthquake he followed the intervention of the state for the process of reconstruction of the areas affected by the earthquake, with the approval of Law 219 of 1981, which actually stood our university project.
In fact, the principle underlying the establishment of a University of Basilicata goes back to the previous decade. The newly formed Region Basilicata asked it to Formez (Training Center and studies for the South) November 9, 1971 a preliminary study, which was carried out by a special working group and delivered 13 February 1973.