Sunday, 20 March 2011

PEAK's Response to Keele VC Email

As reported earlier, when the Keele University Vice Chancellor started to receive what has now developed into a virtual tsunami of emails (made public at the save PEAK blog) in protest against the plan to shut down the Centre for Professional Ethics (PEAK), he was quick to supply each an every protester with an identical email response. Now, this email from the Keele VC as well as the PEAK response to it is publicly available. I won't go through the points made by either side, just read for yourselves. However, PEAK's response adds to the reasons I have set out earlier here and here to distrust the basis of the plans – the process of preparing the plan has apparently not been about transparency and taking care to base any suggestion on correct facts and sound reasoning. The covert nature of the process, and the haste with which it has been implemented (presenting the plan at the beginning of the weekend before the meeting of the university Senate, where the matter is to be decided) bears witness of a panic-stricken, nervous management that is not in control of the situation.

Further Evidence that Keele University Plan to Close PEAK is Based on Hodgepodge

In my post yesterday on the plan of Keele University to close down its outstanding applied ethics research and teaching unit, PEAK, I aired some cautious doubts about the correctness of the figures and calculations forming the economic basis of the decision, this due to comments from a former PEAK staff member. As suspected, it now reveals itself that there are more points to be made about these, one would have thought, elementary points of departure for further strategic reasoning on how to handle the funding cuts faced. In an "open letter" to the VC of Keele and the architects behind the suggestion to close down PEAK, Andrew Willetts – a Keele University student – makes it rather painfully obvious just how little the analysis of university senior management is worth taking at face value. And note, this is only about the basic economics that has to underlie any decision of this sort. To this may be added what sort of strategic reasons that can be brought forward on the economic basis – which I argued yesterday won't support the close-down of PEAK even if the figures put forward by senior university management were to be correct.

A reminder also about the Save PEAK blog-page, which continuous to host an ever growing number of support statements from academics and students.