Patton letter

Michael Driscoll,Vice-Chancellor of the University
Waqar Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise
Margaret House, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic
Ed Esche, Dean of the School of Arts & Education
Middlesex University in London
The Burroughs
London NW4 4BT

Dear Colleagues

It is with great regret that I write to add my voice to the widespread concern at the announced closure of the Philosophy program at Middlesex. I fully realise that, in tight budgetary circumstances, University administrators must make difficult choices in the interest of their institution. I realise that I am ignorant of the details at Middlesex that led to this unfortunate decision. Nonetheless, as an outsider in a Philosophy program and someone engaged in Faculty administration, it is difficult to understand why you would choose to close down a program which is internationally known and respected and which brings such a significant research profile to Middlesex.

Australian universities are about to undergo their first research quality measurement exercise. All of them would be delighted to have a program with the ranking and profile of the Philosophy program at Middlesex. The academic staff members of this program are known world-wide for their work in modern and contemporary European philosophy, aesthetics, political philosophy and critical theory. It is no surprise that so many graduate students seek to pursue their studies there, or that Middlesex continues to attract such a distinguished list of visitors. This is a small but highly productive group of scholars that has an impact in the discipline world wide that would be the envy of many larger programs.

You may not be aware of how much the Philosophy program contributes to the recognition and value attached to Middlesex University. In terms of its reputation and renown, this program is surely one of Middlesex’s most significant assets. By closing it down, you will inflict serious damage on the Middlesex University brand. You would do well to reconsider this unfortunate decision.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Patton

Professor Paul Patton
School of History and Philosophy
Associate Dean Research
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The University of New South Wales
Sydney 2052 Australia
Tel  61 2 9385 2391

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