From: Tom <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 28 April 2010 22:44:47 GMT+01:00
To: “M.Driscoll@mdx.ac.uk” <M.Driscoll@mdx.ac.uk>
Subject: Closure of philosophy
Dear Professor Driscoll
I was shocked and upset to hear that the University plans to close its philosophy programs. I’m a PhD student in philosophy at Middlesex, and I have been struck by the dynamism and quality of r esearch that the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy produces, and the sense of inclusivity the Centre offers to its students. These reflections are amply borne out by the RAE scores the Centre has received, truly exceptional for a small department at a ‘new’ university.
I came to Middlesex having completed my first two degrees at Cambridge University. I had long been aware of the reputation of a number of the philosophy research staff at Middlesex and I felt the particular focus of the Centre, with its uniquely interdisciplinary concern for European thought, would provide a more conducive atmosphere for my research than Cambridge ever could. I was right. Peter Hallward has been the very model of a supervisor, rigorous and supportive in equal measure, and Peter Osborne’s unstinting, intellectually generous support for the Centre’s interdisciplinary project has been inspiring to witness.
Having been lucky enough to receive a fully funded research studentship from the department, I have also had the benefit of teaching on the undergraduate programs. There I have encountered students thirsty for knowledge and with an admirable skepticism for received opinion. The undergraduate philosophy course, so brilliantly managed by Stella Sandford and Mark Kelly, has deservedly been considered the jewel in the crown of undergrad programs at Middlesex, requiring of it’s students a tenacity and breadth of thought rare in British universities, including, I should add, at my deified almer mata.
It seems quite extraordinary, then, that the University should choose to so wantonly harm its reputation by destroying this department, with it’s researchers of international renown, and it’s active and talented students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. I implore you to reconsider.
Research student in Philosophy, Middlesex University.