Hull philosophy department also threatened with closure

Ex-Professor sends mass email asking for support


After The Tab Hull exposed potential plans to scrap the university's languages department, it has come to light the philosophy department is also on the brink of closure.

In a mass email seen by The Tab Hull, Kathleen Lennon—an emeritus professor at the department—set out bluntly that the "Philosophy Department here is threatened with closure" and that there is a "crucial meeting on Tuesday concerning the suspension of recruitment to programmes".

She further called on "staff, students, speakers, examiners and well wishers" to email university grandees and lobby on the department's behalf.

As with Languages, staff, actual and prospective students have already been notified that a review of the courses being offered by the university is under way.

Despite the pretence that the move is due to funding pressures, Lennon argues philosophy is "financially viable – providing a healthy return for the university", raising questions about the university's claims the move is due to financial pressures.

Responding to this claim, the university have stated that for both languages and philosophy there has been a reduction in the number of students.

Further, the university have stated that they will make a decision on the future of both departments in the next couple of weeks, to ensure any decision is made ahead of the January UCAS deadline. They note that looking further ahead, some programmes may still run, but they are "unlikely to be in their current form as this provision is unsustainable over the longer term".

Lennon went on to note that "colleagues from across the campus have expressed shock at what is being suggested" and argued that closure would affect critical standards across the university, due to the department being "intertwined with many other departments and subject areas", including Health, Politics and Social Sciences, "and is highly valued in other areas such as Music, American Studies, Film, and the Faculty of Science and Engineering".

As with the potential closure of the Languages department, the university commented that as part of a review "the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education are currently reviewing Modern languages, with the exception of Chinese Studies, and Philosophy" and that "there is a possibility that we will not be recruiting new students onto some Modern Languages and Philosophy courses in 2019".

Professor Lennon advised those interested parties email Paul Middleton, the interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education; Professor Susan Lea, the Vice-Chancellor; and Professor Glenn Burgess, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs in order to lobby for the department's safety.

The Tab Hull reached out to Professor Lennon for comment.