To Sin Twice Against Philosophy

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Keele this time, and applied ethics especially:

This was supposed to be embargoed, but there’ve been enough leaks to make me think I can go public with it: news has emerged today that the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele (PEAK) is facing the axe, as is the Philosophy department... It also looks as though the problems faced by PEAK and the Philosophy department are attributable to a combination of the recession and bad management by the University... As far as I know, the decision hasn’t been finalised yet – I believe that the relevant meeting will be in April – so there’s still time to do something about it.

Time for another campaign to begin, then; and time to see how much has been learned from the Middlesex fiasco, on both sides. Update: a Save Keele Philosophy campaign website now exists.

My supervisor acts as an external examiner for Philosophy at Keele, and from what he tells me it hardly sounds like a programme struggling to gather meaningful enrolments.

Update, 23rd March, from one e-mail sent to Philos-L...

We are pleased to report that, following constructive discussions with senior management yesterday and the extraordinary meetings of the Faculty Board and Senate today, it has been agreed that the proposal to close down the Philosophy Programme at Keele will be reconsidered and that Philosophy will have a student intake in September 2011.

This does not mean that the future of Philosophy is yet secure, as savings within the broader School still have to be identified by June. Should at that point the proposal to discontinue Philosophy at Keele be revived we may need to call on your help again. But for the moment the signs are encouraging.

...and another:

We are delighted to announce that due to substantial discussions over the last two days the proposals to close PEAK (the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University) have been withdrawn... However, we are required to produce a business plan outlining ways to ensure the required cost savings over the next few weeks. This means that we may need to reactivate this campaign, but for now, we are focusing on positive developments for the future.

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