Middlesex updates

The Save Middlesex Philosophy site has some important updates

There is the text of the letter from the Vice Chancellor here. This is to update staff in the University as a whole about what is happening.

There is a brilliant response from Professor Mine Dack here. It takes on the terms of the suspension of the academic staff, quoting at length from the university’s own disciplinary procedures. These appear to have been ignored, misunderstood or violated. The case seems compelling, and the argument sound.

Stella Sandford has a reply, on behalf of philosophy staff, here. Again this is a compelling, detailed, point-by-point response to the VC.  There is a full campaign update here. It’s worth reading in full. There are lots of issues raised in these responses – it’s worth noting the care by which these have been put together, in contrast to the VC’s note.  In no particular order…

– 18,000 have signed the petition against the closure, but only 10% have signed the follow-up calling for a boycott.

– University figures leading up to a crucial meeting missed £300,000 of income to Philosophy

– the lack of consultation, a cancelled meeting, University lack of knowledge of its own procedures, etc.

– the police don’t seem to have acted in a way that would seem right if the University’s view of things were true.

– The suspended member of staff who attended the rally last week said at the time he would attend the Union meeting that the terms of the suspension prevented him from doing. It seems that the University tried to prevent this, but security were unable or unwilling to achieve that aim.

The final lines of the update are particularly good:

The campaign continues to expand in breadth and depth. What is at stake is now less the immediate fate of the Philosophy programmes and more the general fate of the humanities at Middlesex and at universities in a similar position to Middlesex; less the closure of Philosophy than the way the decision to close it was taken, and the way similar decisions may be taken in the future; less the specific punishments meted out to a few students and staff members, and more a direct confrontation between managerial coercion and collective resistance across the university as a whole.

The longer this confrontation continues the more uneven it appears.

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