Jul 13, 2016

University of Bari in danger. Close or pull weeds?

The ANVUR report is strict in the assessment of the quality of research in the South of Italy. The University of Bari is placed at the bottom of the ranking. The benchmark are publications. The President of Abruzzo, Gianni Chiodi, shouts against the University of Bari judging it a factory of illusions that should be closed. Great situation! What is the cause? 
Silvana Calabrese Italian universities in danger
In the United States if things collapse in a company, people will organize a hunt in search of the bad apple, i.e. the rotten apple that must be separated from the others not to infect those. In Bari the fungal formation, whitish and greenish with particular smell (mold) that has affected the social system, we can identify it in what is public. Isn’t necessary to dig deep into professors’ lives because their curricula studiorum are public and visible within the Faculty websites. From those documents will be clear a study path anything but modest, boasting stays in prestigious institutions across the Alps. Money allows unthinkable opportunities. But then is in their country that they try to climb the social ladder. They win the chair, but not honor that. Their professional career should give rise to scientific publications numerous and constant over time. But the results are scarce. Yet they not have to finance their own books. Yet those high–level courses should have resulted in an explosion in the academic production. But no. If the work of these bad apples were by piece, they couldn’t reach the end of the month. Such situations give rise to the usual suspects with a novelty: we cross a gap, and we float in mid–air with few words: relative–town, recommendations, references. Relative–town means that the University is like a family–owned company. That the ex girlfriends remain on good terms with the professors, they could integrate into the University. A recommendation may be lawful or unlawful. In the first case it takes the name of reference. But has a professor parent the clarity needed to provide references on their own child? Be sons of art or want to follow in the footsteps of father and mother isn’t wrong, it is to ignore their real abilities. But there is something genetic and hereditary. Comparing the curricula of two professors related we can see the same chromosome set: macro credits and micro publications. Is in their hands that we place the education of our children. Too few people are able to infuse professional passion. The solution, however, isn’t close University, causing a cultural regression of the South, but pull weeds that living quiet shade of a permanent contract. 
Source: “La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno”, an italian newspaper, August 21, 2013, p. 16. 

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