29 April 2010
I am writing you about your decision to close the philosophy programs at Middlesex University. As a political philosopher at City University of New York, I can only express my dismay at what seems to be a precipitous and ill-advised decision. My colleagues and I at CUNY have long read and profited from the work of Peter Hallward and Peter Osborne, to name the two scholars at Middlesex whose work I know best. Though I am admittedly judging from afar, I remain confident that the quality of their work is directly related to the environment of excellence that has been fostered at Middlesex. To think that you would destroy such an environment, as if it were so much expendable space, is inconceivable to me. You may or may not derive some temporary financial advantage from such a decision; I’m in no position to know. But what I am in a position to know is that should you proceed with this scheme, you will have earned for yourself a very black mark in the international academic community — and deservedly so. I can’t imagine that that is how you wish to be known by your colleagues throughout the world.
Associate Professor of Political Science
City University of New York