Police nab corrupt state university professors
Rigged researcher exam, police say30 September, 16:51
The starting position for a career in Italian academia is that of researcher, which like professor, is a permanent civil servant post. Openings are published in the Official Gazette.
Police nabbed the two corrupt professors, one of whom is a department head, after an investigation lasting several months which they named Operation Pacta Servanda Sunt (Pacts Must be Respected, in Latin). The probe revealed ''a deviant system within the system of state competitive exams, which regulate access to the academic world'', investigators said. ''The suspects decided who would sit on the judges' panel and who the winner would be before the exams ever took place, with the collusion of their colleagues''.
The plan went awry when their favored candidate failed to score enough points on the exam, and a police wiretap caught them discussing ways to pressure the more qualified candidate into stepping aside on the promise of a future researcher post in another arranged competition. Three other professors are still under investigation, police said.