Schliesser letter

From: Eric Schliesser

Sent: Thu, April 29, 2010 5:02:40 PM
Subject: The Closure of Philosophy at Middlesex:
Dear Vice-Chancellor of the University, Michael Driscoll,

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Waqar Ahmad,
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Margaret House,
Dean of the School of Arts & Education, Ed Esche,

The abrupt closure of the Philosophy program at Middlesex is a matter of  international concern. The department has an international reputation and several of its members are leading figures in European “Continental” Philosophy. As such it has a unique position in British intellectual life. Its presence facilitates ongoing dialogue between Anglophone and European philosophy. It’s closure would impoverish the philosophic scene in Europe.

Of course, I understand that you need to make often painful budgetary choices. I also realize that if you were to reconsider this decision other valued members of your community may come under fire. But from published reports, it appears your decisions are driven entirely by financial considerations. This goes against the very idea of a university; if cost benefit analysis is the only metric that informs funding priorities then academic leadership has become meaningless.  For all these reasons I urge you to reconsider your current approach.

Prof. Dr. Eric Schliesser

BOF Research Professor, Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, Ghent, B-9000, Belgium.

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