In Peril: Further redundancy at King’s College London

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the folks mentioned in the quoted text, not to rogueclassicism!):

You may recall the recent email regarding the abolition of the Chair in

Palaeography at King’s College London as part of a large-
scale ‘restructuring’ of the School of Arts and Humanities. It has now
been announced that one member of staff in Classical Art and Archaeology
at King’s will be made redundant before 31st August 2010. This decision is
outrageous for many reasons, not least that the members of staff in
question have been arbitrarily singled out for their subject specialisms,
despite the nature of their research and teaching as integral to the
Classics department as a whole.

This proposal is damaging to the Classics Department at King’s and
distressing for the members of staff concerned. Furthermore, it is an
alarming indicator of a growing trend towards coercive and arbitrarily
managed approaches to supposedly ‘sub-critical’ subjects. Academics are
being dismissed not because their work lacks excellence but because of a
lack of ‘fit’ with some strategy devised by administration. This threatens
the very nature of academic freedom. It is vital that researchers and
students in these subjects present a united front to stop this trend from
gathering momentum over the next few years.

Please consider offering support to your colleagues at King’s by writing a
letter to the Principal (address below) to oppose the proposed redundancy.
This proposition is part of the same scheme that threatens Professor
Ganz’s position but is a separate and similarly urgent issue. The campaign
to stop these cuts is ongoing, so please consider writing a letter even if
you have already done so for Palaeography.

The full document outlining the ‘restructuring’ has recently been released
by King’s and can be accessed at (details
on the Classical Art and Archaeology cut can be found on p.5, item 5). A
petition has also been established at – please do sign this
in addition to sending a letter – and a website with more information and
links has been created at

Many thanks for your continuing support.

The address to write to is: Professor Rick Trainor, The Principal, King’s
College, The Strand, London WC2R 2LS (principal) and copy to
Professor Jan Palmowski, Head of the School of Arts and
Humanities (jan.palmowski).

… addenda:

Apologies for any confusion my previous message may have caused. It has

not yet been decided which member of staff will be dismissed; this
decision will be made "on the basis of performance" (see p.5 of the
document, Any one
of the four current members of staff may lose their job. Please write to
retain all four positions in Classical Art and Archaeology at King’s.

I also note that there is a facebook group:

In Peril: Closure of the Roman Museum in Canterbury

Raymond Laurence sends this along:

I was wondering if you would be willing to publicize Canterbury City Council’s desire to close its Roman Museum and the protest against this action?

The museum has an interesting history, it was largely created by a Luftwaffe bomb and during the clearance of the bombsite in 1944 an in situ Roman mosaic was discovered worked on by young enthusiasts such as John Wacher, Shepherd Frere and others. I attach a letter sent by students of the University of Kent to the Council. Significantly, 19,000 children visit the museum per annum and it plays a major educational role. It would seem the Tory Council refuses to even allow stakeholders such as Canterbury Archaeological Trust, Christchurch University or the University of Kent to devise a plan of action with the Museums’ Service to keep the Roman Museum Open.

Email to John Gilbey leader of the council and the main spokesman for closure = john.gilbey AT

Interestingly, this closure runs at loggerheads with Conservative Heritage policy.

> There are following for further info and expressions of outrage:
> a) An online petition has been organised
> b) A website has been created with information on who to contact within Canterbury City Council –

> c) There is also a Facebook group

Please do circulate this to colleagues as appropriate.