Let me come clean. By my lights, the University of Middlesex philosophy department appears to be a fount of appallingly pretentious pseudery and intellectual garbage of the worst kind. Don’t take my word for it; have a browse through the links here.
Still, that’s not why it is proposed that the department be closed down. It hasn’t anything to do with reputation, supposed research quality (a good score on the last RAE), student numbers, or the like. Indeed, philosophy is the top-rated subject in the university. No, as a letter from members of the department says,
The Dean explained that the decision to terminate recruitment and close the programmes was ‘simply financial’, and based on the fact that the University believes that it may be able to generate more revenue if it shifts its resources to other subjects – from ‘Band D’ to ‘Band C’ students. … In a meeting with Philosophy staff, the Dean acknowledged the excellent research reputation of Philosophy at Middlesex, but said that it made no ‘measurable’ contribution to the University.
So now you know. It indeed seems the ‘latest example of mindless behavior by out-of-control academic bureaucrats’ (to borrow the words of Leiter Report, where you’ll find more info), acting in such a way to destroy the very sense of a university as a self-governing academic community.
Sides have to be taken. In this fight I’m with the Bullshit Brigade.