Keywords: Fascism - Postwar period - University professors.
This essay deals with the postwar policies toward university professors who had been appointed directly by the Secretary of Education during the fascist regime. After the collapse of Fascism, the Superior Council of State Education was given the task of preparing a series of reports on each professor in order to ascertain their involvement with the regime and their scientific standard. These reports make clear that, save for a strongly politicized minority, a substantial number of the «alta fama» professors were not worthless. The material collected by the Superior Council also reveals that universities used extensively the «alta fama» procedure bypassing open competition in order to secure their preferred candidate. Whatever the professors being evaluated, the Superior Council established that all of them should be required to submit to a qualifying examination. Decisions concerning whether a professor should be left in place or not was however in the end an exquisitely political matter. The Christian Democrat Guido Gonella, Secretary of Public Education, took a stance that was pragmatic and independent of the opinions of the Superior Council: almost all professors were confirmed in their chairs. Ultimately, the aim of a real purge had been completely missed.