We got front page coverage on the Corriere di Como, and strident articles also in the Provincia di Como.
They do not make clear that the Science Faculty of Como itself decided to close Informatica in Como months ago. An informatica course was not even presented to the Senate for consideration. The choice of the Science Faculty was instead to present Scienze Ambientale.
As a consequence informatica staff requested and were permitted to transfer to Varese (same university) to support the remaining informatica course of the University of Insubria - which lacked sufficient staff to continue otherwise. One ambientalist has been transferred from Varese to Como, and a further six from Varese will count towards the Ambientale course in Como.
Today there is a funny article in the Provincia (La Provincia di Como, 20 November 2009: Facoltà di Scienze a rischio Gli studenti corrono in aiuto) in which the reporter quotes a facebook page. The article's title translates as "Science faculty at risk: students run to the aid of the faculty". Unfortunately the reporter misread the Facebook site, the last post being in April, not November. Many of the students attached to that page were students of informatica, and Prof. Sabadini discussed fully with them at the time the actual situation. The meeting with the president mentioned in the article as occurring next week actually occurred in April.
The Provincia instead claims that the only response was from the president of the faculty who said: "... sono un calabrese coriaceo e stia tranquillo che farò di tutto perché questa facoltà, che è per qualità scientifica 'il pezzo pregiato' dell'Ateneo, non solo non sia ridimensionata ma ne esca rafforzata. ...".
The dangers of being a reporter in this electronic age! Reporters have the duty to double-check their sources. There were however such gross mistakes in the past - the present one joins classic errors like "Dewey defeats Truman".
27th November 2009:Update I have decided not to write further on this issue except perhaps to report the final outcome. In my view the Science Faculty of Como has made serious mistakes of policy over the years, and is now in difficulty as a result. The main problem is that the faculty has not attracted sufficient students. On the closure of the informatics course the informatics staff have requested to transfer to Varese. It is the right of any staff memember to ask for a transfer from one seat to another. All the rest consists of decisions of the organs of the university and discussion which is now at the level of politicians. Basta.