University of Surrey’s Politics department is under serious threat. Apparently “the current staff of 14 lecturers/professors will be reduced to 5. The current staff have received their redundancy notices and will have to re-apply to one of the 5 positions. There is no guarantee that the 5 positions under this newly structured department will go to any of the current staff members”. The University plan is that teaching the current curriculum will be continued, but obvious concerns are being raised about the delivery to students, and of course for the staff concerned.
As Ben Rosamond puts it, despite the successes of this department:
And then, on Thursday morning, the members of staff were gathered together by university senior management and told that their department was to be dismembered. I gather ‘restructured’ was the preferred euphemism chosen by the suits, but dismemberment and probable abolition is what actually seems to be on the table. So let’s call it that. As I understand it, two thirds of the faculty will lose their jobs from the end of the summer. Some colleagues may be forced to accept demotion to stay. The sole rationale of retaining teaching staff seems to be to maintain a skeletal undergraduate programme. Masters and PhD provision are set to go. It is hard to see how any research culture could be sustained in such an environment.
There is also a petition to sign – but also to share:
We are graduates, current students and friends of the Politics Department at the University of Surrey and we are greatly distressed by the current news on the University administration’s proposed plans for the department. This petition is a way to gather signatures to express concern at the effective closure of the Surrey Politics Department which has been widely reported on twitter. This will be presented to University management next week. We invite you all to add your name to our petition. Thank you for your support.