Thursday, September 2, 2010

My Letter to the Administrators of Swansea University: Please Join Our Struggle!

It will take you just a couple of minutes to send an e-mail to Prof. Davies and Mr. Ciborowski of Swansea University but the benefits of doing so might prove to be enormous.

To: Professor Richard Davies, Vice-Chancellor, Swansea University,

Cc: Raymond Ciborowski, Registrar and Head of Administration, Swansea University,


Dear Professor Davies and Mr. Ciborowski,

I am writing to express my deep concern over the proposed cuts to the Department of Modern Languages at Swansea University. Here in the United States we hold your university in high respect because of the outstanding quality of teaching and the impressive standards of research. This is why the the news that you are planning to halve the number of teaching faculty at the department has caused me and many of my collegues in the United States and Canada such great dismay.

The proposed cuts will deal a severe blow to the field of Modern Languages and Literature not only at your university but in the English-speaking world at large. If Swansea University stops being a serious contributor to the field in terms of research that comes out of it and the kind of students that graduate from it, it will leave a gaping hole where we are used to seeing a vibrant and productive department.

I understand extremely well that financial concerns are forcing many great universities to adopt painful policies of budget cuts. No academic institution has been immune from the consequences of the global economic crisis. However, it seems unfair and counterproductive to single out one department (in your case, such a crucial department as that of Modern Languages) and subject it to such extensive cuts. This is why I am joining my voice to those of my colleagues who are asking you to reconsider these cuts.  If there is any way to save Modern Languages at Swansea from such extensive lay-offs, I urge you to  consider it. Either through a policy of reducing administrative staff or by spreading these cuts more evenly across the university, the Department of Modern Languages at Swansea deserves that extra effort be made to save it.

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