29 April 2010
A number of weeks ago, I gave a talk at the regular CRMEP seminar that Peter Osborne has nurtured at Middlesex for as long as I can remember. The room in the Mansion Building was packed – not just with postgraduates and staff but with undergraduates, even from the first year, and people from outside the university. This was nothing to do with me (I wish), but says everything about the fantastic set of programmes and passionate culture for researching, debate and thought that our colleagues in philosophy have built up over the years. I wonder how many other departments run postgraduate research seminars that first year students attend.
I am stunned and ashamed that the university I work for has made this short-sighted, expedient, and ill-informed decision. I have read the explanation from the Dean. I didn’t follow the rationale. I understand that part of the university’s strategy for coping with the downturn is to expand postgraduate numbers – on which HEFC funding does not bear. If there is a single department in the School likely to be able to do this, it is philosophy.
I am perplexed at how this decision reflects the University’s approach to cultivating research. I would welcome publication of the minutes of the meeting where the decision was taken to close the department, so that staff can make informed judgements about what is after all being done in our name.
Senior Lecturer in Media, Culture and Communications