UPDATE: Peter Hallward posted an extended explanation of the decision making process behind the move. I’m not sure how much it clarifies the situation, but it’s something.
This has been going around, but I find the news of “salvation” of Middlesex a bit strange – what exactly was saved? Senior staff? I’m sure they would have found jobs without the move to Kingston. Graduate students? They weren’t kicked out, they would still finish their degrees. The program? It’s still going to be closed. How is that a “victory” again? I tend to agree with this commenter:
I can not see how this latest development could be considered a ‘victory.’
There are some who have come out of it well, namely the high-salaried senior staff. But their sense of victory must certainly be dampened by a deeper feeling that they have thrown away far more than they have gained.
Given the strength of the campaign and the support from far afield throughout, I can’t see how this is a moment for celebration. The support that has come from philosophers worldwide is for the campaign to save philosophy at Middlesex, it was not intended to be diverted and used to save the jobs of just a few members of the department. It is shameful. The claim in this statement that the new development at Kingtson might offer ‘hope’ to other humanities departments facing cuts is empty. A gesture to fan away the smell of bad conscience. Anyone can see through it.
How do the ‘saved’ senior members of staff expect to be able to defend their own writings in public again? Particularly two of them who have always claimed a Left stance.
Rather than cheering, this leaves me uncomfortable, depressed and deflated. Some of those involved may have a new career to celebrate but I would not want to be in their position for all the money at Kingston.