Italy PM Pick Had ‘No Official Status’ at NYU - Higher Education
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Italy PM Pick Had ‘No Official Status’ at NYU

by Associated Press


New York University says the Italian law professor tagged to be Italy’s next premier had no official status at the university — despite an entry on his resume suggesting otherwise.

University spokeswoman Michelle Tsai said in a statement released Tuesday that University of Florence law professor Guiseppe Conte had obtained permission to use NYU’s law library during the period listed on his official resume.

The 12-page resume Conte submitted to the Italian parliament in 2013 said he “perfected and updated his studies” at NYU during the summers of 2008-2014.

Tsai said in the statement: “While Mr. Conte had no official status at NYU, he was granted permission to conduct research in the NYU law library…and he invited an NYU law professor to serve on the board of an Italian law journal.”

Conte’s resume contains multiple references to time spent at elite foreign universities without specifying courses or areas of study.

Italian media outlets are scrutinizing the 12-page resume of University of Florence law professor Guiseppe Conte for signs the man nominated by two rival parties to be premier might had embellished his credentials.

The resume covering the years since Conte earned his law degree from Rome’s Sapienza University in 1988 includes references to stays at an array of top universities in the United States, Britain and France, without specifying what studies he had undertaken.

The resume says Conte “stayed” at Paris Sorbonne University in 2000 and Cambridge University’s Girton College in 2001 for scientific research. The resume also said he “perfected and updated his studies” during stays at New York University of at least a month during the summers of 2008-2012.

Cambridge declined to confirm any affiliation, citing privacy, and the Sorbonne and New York University didn’t immediately respond to queries.

Italy’s 5-Star Movement is defending Giuseppe Conte, tapped to become the country’s next premier, against reports accusing him of overstating his affiliations with elite international universities in his resume.

The movement said in a statement Tuesday that Conte, a law professor picked to head Italy’s first populist government, “had never boasted” of degrees abroad but had “stayed abroad to study, enrich his knowledge and perfect his juridical English.” They said reports otherwise indicated fear for the changes coming under a 5-Star government with the right-wing League.

Conte, 53, is currently a professor at the University of Florence. He graduated with a law degree from Rome’s Sapienza University. He hasn’t made any statements since the two parties identified him as premier candidate, a role that must be approved by Italy’s president.


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