As reported earlier this week, Australian Catholic University is currently planning to shutter its philosophical research center, the Dianoia Institute, and eliminate or make cuts to other humanities programs.
A petition has now been launched for people to register their opposition to this plan.
You can sign it here.
While there have been other petitions on this issue, “this is the crucial one,” says a faculty member at ACU.
It calls the plan “a direct assault on the humanities at ACU,” and says, in part:
We are calling upon our colleagues across the globe to register their protest at this anti-intellectual and inhumane proposal. Many of the affected staff members were enticed to move to Australia from abroad; many gave up secure employment elsewhere to come; and many came with dependents in tow. Some only arrived last year. And yet now they are being shown the door. But it is not only personal lives that will be destroyed if the draft change plan is enacted. The damage that is already being done to the university’s reputation in the eyes of scholars and prospective students will take years to overcome.
The text of the petition provides some information the cuts, noting the lack of a “coherent academic rationale for the combination of positions slated for elimination,” as well the process that led to them:
No one in leadership in any of the affected organizational units were consulted prior to the release of the draft change plan, nor is there any evidence that the administration seriously considered any of the feedback provided by staff during the consultation period over the month of August (a legal requirement according to ACU’s Enterprise Bargaining Agreement).
The authors of the petition also urge its signatories to directly contact those involved in the decision of whether to implement the plan:
The architects of the draft change plan are Professor Skrbis ([email protected]), Professor Khan ([email protected]), Deputy Provost Chris Lonsdale ([email protected]), and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research Phil Parker ([email protected]), none of whom have expertise in the humanities. If you would like to support humanities at ACU, please contact these individuals to register your concern and sign the present petition to call on the university administration to reconsider this ill-advised plan. The period of consultation on the draft change plan closes on 26 September, at which point the full list of signatures will be sent to the four aforementioned administrators along with the ACU Senate.
Further details are on the petition page.