It’s not just about the Arts

The University, with the College of Arts Change Proposal, wants to disestablish American Studies, Cultural Studies, and Theatre and Film Studies, but the reasons it offers are dodgy. They say that it’s not about course quality, because these courses receive excellent ratings. Instead they say it’s about money and resources – but the business models given by the University are incorrect and their numbers don’t even begin to add up. These are tough economic times for the University and more cuts are yet to come, but that’s a reason to be more thorough, not less. Normally, if a programme is to be discontinued, there are certain steps the University has to take, but they are not even following their own rules. There has been little transparency and accountability. If this Change Proposal continues as it is, it will set a precedent. It will mean that any major or department can be discontinued, no matter its academic quality, without due process and on the basis of unsound numbers - and this affects everyone. This isn’t just about whether you can study cultural theory, or the history of performance, or modern day consumer culture. This isn’t just about 9 years of restructuring and its effect on morale and staff retention. This isn’t just about ensuring that the University’s Arts programme is diverse, competitive and something of which to be proud. This is about doing things the right way for all staff and students, no matter their department. So, no, it’s not just about the Arts.

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