Dear Professor Foskett,
I am writing to add my voice to the widely shared deep disbelief and sadness at the proposed closure of PEAK and the discipline of Philosophy at Keele. This proposal is being tabled at precisely the time when nurturing and strengthening the study of Ethics and Philosophy is critically important.
My association with Keele runs deep. I taught and studied in the Department of Philosophy and, latterly, SPIRE, from 1997 until mid 2000. I have retained professional and personal contact with staff in Philosophy and at PEAK ever since. Amongst other things, this has resulted in collaborative publications, reciprocal initiatives between our respective institutions and the co-opting of expertise from PEAK to develop and publish reports for the Irish Council for Bioethics. Indeed, two of my former students are now employed by PEAK.
Suffice to say, I have first hand knowledge and experience of the excellent teaching and research that is being conducted at PEAK and in Philosophy at Keele. Your proposal threatens many fantastic scholars and, just as important, lovely people. In no way do they deserve to have been treated in the ways that are currently coming to light.
From the evidence that is being revealed now that a little transparency is emerging with respect to the background behind this proposal, some of the practices, policies and procedures of Keele University management have been, to say the least, ethically dubious. May I respectfully suggest that a more fitting proposal at this time would be that all of those involved in the management of the University avail of the excellent ethics training that is currently available at PEAK.
In addition, I respectfully urge you, in the strongest possible sense, to re-think this non-solution to more deep rooted problems and questions in Higher Education, before Keele University becomes intractably associated with the narrowing of scholarship and study based on misguided economic assessments. As is happening all too often in the University sector and in society more generally, this proposal looks at the cost of everything (unfairly it would seem) and the value of nothing.