Toscano letter

Date: 29 April 2010 09:16:27 BST
Subject: On the closure of philosophy at Middlesex

Dear Professors Driscoll, Ahmad, House and Esche,

I am writing to express my shock and dismay at your decision to shut down philosophy at Middlesex. I can see no justification whatsoever for terminating a programme with a widely-recognised record of excellence and a crucial role in the academic and intellectual life of London and the UK. On your website you proudly state: ‘The most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) cited Middlesex for its breadth of “internationally recognised” research.’ And yet you have decided to close the very department which the RAE results identify as the most “internationally-recognised” at Middlesex. The alleged motivation for closure is the absence of a “measurable” contribution by philosophy to Middlesex. If the only measure you accept is that of sizeable profits, that may be the case, but if so you have abandoned the very idea of what it means to run a university, where management is supposed to facilitate the work of teaching and research, rather than vice versa.

If Middlesex go ahead with this disastrous decision – whose unequivocal message is that the university is not interested in either academic excellence or its international reputation – the standing of your institution will suffer immensely. I hope you will reconsider this decision before irreversible damage is done to Middlesex University and to the future of philosophy in the United Kingdom.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Alberto Toscano
Senior Lecturer
Department of Sociology
Goldsmiths, University of London

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