Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Keele University Retracts Proposal to Close PEAK and Philosophy

Today, the Keele University Senate wisely decided to retract the proposal to close the Centre for Professional Ethics, as well as the Department of Philosophy. Earlier reports and comments on this drama for us in the world of applied ethics can be traced back from here. I'm quoting verbatim from Angus Dawson's message to the Save PEAK Facebook Group just a few minutes ago (with an added link to a page demonstrating the support referred to in the statement):

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over the last two days the proposals to close PEAK (the Centre for Professional Ethics at Keele University) have been withdrawn.
This decision was accepted and endorsed at today's meeting of Keele University's Senate.
This means that existing and prospective students need not be concerned about their studies.
PEAK remains committed to teaching and research excellence - and is actively recruiting for next year's intake to our courses.
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.

We would like to thank all of our friends and colleagues from across the world for their support.
We would particularly like to thank all those that took the time to write letters of support that went to our VC, DVC and Dean.
It was very important to our case that they considered our international reputation and you all made this obvious in the strongest terms.
This has been a difficult week (to say the least) for all of us and our families.
However, your solidarity and support has really helped us to put the evidence and arguments forward.
This is a remarkable victory in a relatively short period of time - and it is due to you all.

So, most probably, cuts will still have to be made, but reportedly, the senior management now has an assignment from Senate to take a broader view in this work, not only targeting single units for close-down. My most heartfelt congratulations to the Keele University Senate for listening to reason, to PEAK and to the international community of applied ethics researchers and scholars.