Milan, 7 Oct. 2021- Right now that universities have become pivotal for COVID-19 response, here is an Italian scandal: the rigged contests in the major Milan public university.
The department is central to advance progressive research on coronavirus variants, vaccines virology and infectiology.
You expect that after two years of global pandemic at University Statale di Milano, the contests to select professors and researchers are run with the maximum of diligence and transparency in order to select the best of the best of candidates, those who decided to sacrifice their lives to study, research, teach to save lives in hospitals such as Sacco, one of the largest public hospitals in Milan.
The last shall be the first, instead: it’s the very down to earth lesson of professor Galli, professor of infectiology at public University Statale, accused of rigging contests for researchers and professorships, assembling dodged commissions instructed to select coopted candidates only and leave the best and most competitive ones out of competition.
Hold on, charges do not end here: Galli with a group of colleagues and buddies across both Sacco Hospital and the University, set the contest so that fake candidates took part and withdraw at a later stage in order to make the competition look valid. Daily La Repubblica reports 17 professors of medicine department at Statale and peers of seven other Universities are involved in the inquiry of Milan prosecutors. We are talking of the biggest atheneums in Italy such as La Sapienza and Tor Vergata in Rome.
While thousands were dying by Covid19 in Milan and Lombardy, the Italian most hit region by the virus, ad all academic world was researching vaccine and virus variants, the virology gang was concentrating its efforts on researching the best wording of the ad-hoc criteria matching the skills of the pre-selected candidate who must win the contest in order to dodge the point system qualification.
It’s shocking Galli, who now has to face serious corruption charges, was often on frontpages and news over the covid19 crisis. The once in a century pandemic makes the academic corruption case a tough one: should the fact that the crimes have been committed right in the area of infectiology and virology, be considered an aggravating factor?