Monday, 21 March 2011

PEAK's Response to Keele University Close-down Plan Provides Ample Reason for Retraction

The Keele University Centre for Professional Ethics (PEAK) has now made public its response to the suggestion by University senior management to close it down (reported on earlier here, here and here). It can be downloaded here.

For me, the basic facts set out in the response is no news: PEAK is a remarkably successful academic unit – nationally as well as internationally – teaching wise as well as in research. In all respects. At the same time, the response makes clear that the proposal to close PEAK down indeed rests on faulty facts and incomplete analysis of the consequences of such an action. The most blatant examples are:

- The architects behind the proposal have made their calculation based on an inflated figure regarding the number of PEAK staff.
- The proposal ignores the losses of income implied by closing PEAK down
- The idea in the proposal that some PEAK activities could remain within a new ethics stream in the law school lacks all practical feasibility (partly because the number of PEAK staff is significantly less than believed by the authors of the proposal)
- The same authors have completely ignored the rather significant loss of income for the University in the form of research grants if PEAK is closed
- The statement in the proposal that PEAK impact and research productivity is low lacks all foundation.

The Keele University VC and Senate now have excellent reasons to politely thank the authors of the proposal for their service, retract same proposal and instead make their own analysis – this time based on correct figures, complete facts and an analysis built on what is in the long-term interest of the University.