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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2 years ago

Super admirable.

Walter Veit
2 years ago

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

Reina Cruz Vera
Reina Cruz Vera
2 years ago

Shame…for the university

John Collins
John Collins
2 years 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.

Samir Chopra
2 years ago

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