To Help Avert University’s “Hunger Games,” A Philosopher Steps Down

Philosopher John Sutton will be voluntarily stepping down from his position as professor in the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University as a way of helping his colleagues avoid a “Hunger Games”-style plan imposed by the university to cut faculty.

All 36 faculty in the Departments of Cognitive Science and Psychology were to “compete” to be among the 26 or so who would retain their positions, Professor Sutton explains, in a process run largely by medical school administrators (the Departments had been “unhappily” relocated to the university’s School of Medicine, Health, and Human Sciences last year). To avoid taking part in this, the faculty looked for alternative ways of saving the university the required money.

They succeeded in this by making use of voluntary redundancies and “other creative measures.” As part of this alternative Professor Sutton is leaving the university next month and will be moving to a visiting position at Durham University. In the following informative and touching video, also available on his website, he explains:

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17 days ago

Super admirable.Report

Walter Veit
16 days ago

How to stop the growth of administration at the expense of actual academics?Report

Reina Cruz Vera
Reina Cruz Vera
15 days ago

Shame…for the universityReport

John Collins
John Collins
15 days ago

I think this is an extremely common occurrence. I know personally of at least three philosophers who have retired early than they otherwise would have in hopes of saving a colleague’s job. I bet most people in philosophy or elsewhere in the humanities know people who have done this.Report

Samir Chopra
11 days ago

John is an amazing human being and philosopher. Macquarie should hang its head in shame.Report