ROME. A dental surgeon at the University of Cagliari in Sardinia may have to pay back over ¤24,800 (Pounds 16,000) of his salary after being found guilty of failing to teach the 50 hours per year laid down in the national contract for university lecturers.
The regional public prosecutor of Italy's supreme court for financial issues has opened proceedings against Leonardo Calabrese for the return of the money.
Professor Calabrese was found guilty of forgery after having one of his assistants falsify his signature on the register for lectures. According to the prosecution, in 1993-94 Professor Calabrese failed to give a single lecture. He received a one-year suspended sentence, against which he is now appealing.
In Italian universities many lecturers, especially those active in lucrative private professions, do not fulfil their contract and delegate to assistants.
But academics enjoy almost total freedom and it is extremely rare for a case such as this to be taken to court.