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King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography (Read 69136 times)
hck
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Re: Bad news re palaeography at KCL
Reply #50 - 10.06.2010 at 16:57:11
 
David Ganz seems to be still scheduled to teach as a member of KCL on 2010-06-25 David ganz will teach a one day course on Palaeography and Papyrology: Latin Manuscripts 100-500 as part of the London Palaeography Summer School 2010: see http://ies.sas.ac.uk/cmps/events/courses/SummerSchool/School10/25%20June-Ganz.ht m .
 


 
Found thanks to https://twitter.com/wvmierlo/status/15836544159 .
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #51 - 17.06.2010 at 09:38:55
 
Now see Iain Pears: Strange Defeat 82010-06-14).
 
i.a.:
Quote:
It is a pity. The Academics of King’s had a opportunity to defend more than themselves, more than their own jobs. Not enough wanted to. Some saw advantage for themselves. Some did not care. Some senior academics whose opinion counted preferred to make life easy for the management. Some were only truly interested in their own position. Others felt that there was no point in trying, and gave up.

I fear they will regret it, senior and junior, not least because the management now has the measure of them, and knows how easy it is to get its way.

But all is well. No-one responsible for making King’s a laughing stock has been fired; indeed they will probably be rewarded for taking tough decisions.

The last Professor of Palaeography in Britain will lose his job.

But Professor Trainor gets a knighthood for "services to higher education."

No further comment is necessary.

 
Concerning the knighthood: see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/news_details.php?news_id=1386&year=2010
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« Last Edit: 17.06.2010 at 12:14:33 by hck »  

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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #52 - 28.06.2010 at 08:22:22
 
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Re: King's College London cuts: palaeography
Reply #53 - 09.07.2010 at 09:03:39
 
Now there is John Morgan: Questions over King's once and future chair (2010-07-08): there you can read i.a.:
Quote:
King's College London is to create a new chair in palaeography in 2012, but questions remain over its decision to scrap the existing chair.

...
Quote:
Academics on the college's Palaeography Working Group have now recommended the creation of a chair in "palaeography and manuscript studies" from 2012, a recommendation accepted by Rick Trainor, King's principal.

The current chair in palaeography, held by David Ganz, will be abolished.

...
Quote:
The working group, whose conclusions were unveiled this week, recommends that King's should "emphatically reaffirm its long-standing commitment to palaeography" with a new chair, the college said.

But the announcement raises questions over the college's attitude to Professor Ganz, and the extent to which the new post differs from the old one. Teaching in palaeography will continue on a part-time basis until the new chair is established.

Times Higher Education asked King's why it was abolishing the current chair.

In a statement, the college says that it wants to attract more under- graduates and PhD students to palaeography, make it "naturally interdisciplinary" and ensure that the discipline "takes advantage of new digital developments in the field".

The college notes that many King's academics need palaeography, adding that it is "important that these scholars are provided with visionary intellectual leadership".

The new chair will be "fully funded from philanthropic monies", it says.

That leaves questions over what will happen to existing funding linked to palaeography.

 
 
 
 
 
And there is Iain Pears's response: On Statements (2010-07-08), where you can read i.a.:
Quote:
Professor Ganz has already signed his voluntary termination agreement. To make insinuations of this sort now smacks unpleasantly of triumphalist spite.

I assume that Professor Ganz, like the 100 or so others who have been pushed into voluntary redundancy, has signed a gagging deal, linking silence about the conduct of management to the provision of public funds for his redundancy.

If this is of the standard variety now used as a matter of course by the managements of British universities, the wording will be something along the lines of both sides agreeing not to authorise the making or publishing of any derogatory or disparaging statement intended to or which might be expected to damage or lower the reputation of the other. This, at least, is the standard boilerplate wording offered on legal websites.

...
Quote:
Many other people at King’s have a great deal to say on the subject of their managers, but have not done so.

It is a pity that some in the senior management of King’s lack this self-discipline and sense of decorum.

But if the management of King’s is voluntarily rendering this part of the redundancy agreements null and void, and effectively confirms this by not withdrawing the statement, then presumably everyone else will also be free to speak as they wish.

 


 
Both items above found thanks to a posting by Daniel DiCenso and a coment by Adam Ganz in the facebook group Save Palaeography At King's London
 


 
Concerning this: I myself am puzzled by at least two questions:
  • Who, as/if 'The new chair will be "fully funded from philanthropic monies"' are those whom provide that money, and how much is it, and for how long will it last and/or be paid?
  • Who would be willing to work for KCL as the new professor for palaeography? (I do not believe that what happened up to now made it very much easier to find a suitable and willing candidate ... .)

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KCL: palaeography updates 2010-07-13
Reply #54 - 13.07.2010 at 10:03:26
 
My updates on the palaeography situation at King's College London are made today, but they are about older material:
 

  • The 2010-06-30 report and recommendations by KCL's Palaeography Working Group can be found at http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/07/64/51/ThePalaeographyWorkingGrouppaper.pdf . Not being accustomed to reading U.K. papers of that sort: I do not know how to interpret it. If this were a paper written by me: I'd expect it to be read as a polite argumentation in favour of discontinuing the chair (though, to be honest, being the teutonic barbarian which I am, I'd probably make this point so clear that misunderstandings should be difficult). I may (and probably will) completely misunderstand the goal the authors of that paper want/ed to achieve, but here are my reasons to consider to read the paper as one which does not exactly argue extremely efficiently in favour of keeping/re-establishing a palaeography chair at KCL:
    • There is not exactly very much in this paper on present and/or past orientations either in research or teaching by those holding the chair: no documentation of present or past major contributions, specialities, linking, networking, co-shaping the field, etc..
    • They suggest to keep the chair vacant up to September 2012: i.e.: it seems to them that there is no dire need of having that position filled for anything if it is o.k. to leave it vacant for some 2 years.
    • They don't expect it to carter for the brighter stratum of students as they write on p.5 that "We recognise that this would be a course about Palaeography rather than in Palaeography, because undergraduate students will not normally have the language skills or research techniques to 'do' Palaeography." (Italics theirs, bolding mine.)
    • They write on p. 8 "Palaeography is simply too specialised ever to cover its costs." (And they do not mention - though some of their readers will know - that there are extremely specialised humanities institutions that are rather good at getting research grants and/or other outside money.)
    • They suggest that this chair should be financed using "philanthropic monies" (p. 6) instead of using regular income for that. They make no suggestions as to from which fields/institutions/persons/whatever these "philanthropic monies" might be expected to come.

     
     
  • Iain Pears is doing some rather interesting maths concerning what is written in that paper (taking into account some contexts) in his 2010-07-10 A few numbers at http://boonery.blogspot.com/2010/07/few-numbers.html .
    i.a.:
    Quote:
    Did no-one in the accountancy department ever wonder whether keeping Professor Ganz, asking him to do a few different things, and launching a fund-raising campaign to raise the extra £0.6 million to complete the existing endowment in the years up to his retirement, might not be a cheaper solution, and one more likely to be successful than trying to raise £1.7 million quickly?

    If the college indeed thinks that Palaeography is so vital, then such a procedure would have ensured continuity. It would also have lowered the long-term costs, as the risk premium it will have to pay to attract a suitable replacement would be lessened. I think it highly unlikely that any senior academic would risk his career by working at King's for the sums outlined in the report. Not ones with any sense of self-preservation.

     
     
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Re: KCL: palaeography updates 2010-07-13
Reply #55 - 14.07.2010 at 10:47:04
 
Quote from hck on 13.07.2010 at 10:03:26:



  • Iain Pears is doing some rather interesting maths concerning what is written in that paper (taking into account some contexts) in his 2010-07-10 A few numbers at http://boonery.blogspot.com/2010/07/few-numbers.html .
    i.a.:
    Quote:
    Did no-one in the accountancy department ever wonder whether keeping Professor Ganz, asking him to do a few different things, and launching a fund-raising campaign to raise the extra £0.6 million to complete the existing endowment in the years up to his retirement, might not be a cheaper solution, and one more likely to be successful than trying to raise £1.7 million quickly?

    If the college indeed thinks that Palaeography is so vital, then such a procedure would have ensured continuity. It would also have lowered the long-term costs, as the risk premium it will have to pay to attract a suitable replacement would be lessened. I think it highly unlikely that any senior academic would risk his career by working at King's for the sums outlined in the report. Not ones with any sense of self-preservation.




 
At http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/07/how-much-does-a-professor-of-paleo graphy-really-cost.html there is a short comment by Brian Leiter on this.
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KCL: palaeography: Iain Pears text 2010-08-09
Reply #56 - 24.08.2010 at 16:56:39
 
Now see also:  
Iain Pears: On the Workings of Groups (2010-08-09):
 
i.a.:
Quote:
Under this reasoning, the removal of Professor Ganz is compensated for by the fact that King’s is willing to give house-room to a replacement as long as someone else picks up the tab. King’s commitment to palaeography is on the condition that it cost the college not a penny.

...
Quote:
The argument in favour of King’s – most cogently and reasonably advanced by Mr Steven Rhodes, a former member of the King’s council, in comments to the THES – is that the question of Professor Ganz, and the question of Palaeography, are two entirely different matters. That is, getting rid of Professor Ganz has nothing to do with the issue of replacing him.

From an outsider’s point of view, it is difficult to see how anyone can think that Professor and Professorship can be separated, but that seems to be the line of argument. So let us look at the working group -- composed mainly of senior academics of some considerable distinction -- which accomplished this separation.

...
Quote:

Even more strangely, the statement put out on May 18th to mark the end of the consultation said:

“The working group made its initial report to the Head of School on 31 March 2010 (my emphasis) and confirmed the continuing need for the study of Palaeography at King’s. The working group indicated that it would be recommending a re-defined Chair of Palaeography, incorporating Manuscript Studies, with a wide remit…”

Which is to say that -- if you compare report and press release -- the committee not only began work before the fate of Professor Ganz had been resolved, it effectively finished it the day it started -- for that was the major recommendation and everything else was merely filling in the details. March 31, it appears, was a busy day all round. This suggests -- the press release presumably means what it says -- either that the recommendations weren’t very deeply thought through, or that the groundwork had already been done elsewhere and in advance.

The final report defines the new post in a way which fits Professor Ganz’s skills to a tee (p.4) – languages, with latin as a core; a remit covering documentary and archival material (an odd distinction: what do archives contain except documents?) and medieval vernacular; meeting demands from a range of constituencies and “engaging with the digital environment” – (a rare lapse into gobblydegook) all of which Professor Ganz has been doing with great distinction, if little ostentatious fanfare.

The report never even considers the possibility that the current Professor might be the ideal person to do the job, even though he was actually doing it while the working party's meetings were taking place. Equally, the statement that palaeography cannot pay its way and must be endowed omits any discussion of why, in that case, the college needs to found a new chair at all, and could not merely seek an endowment for the existing one.

 
BTW: I myself still are waiting for any convincing (or other!) proof that it is not possible to have a post in palaeography that brings its institution at least as much money as it costs it.  
 
...
 
Quote:
So how does leave this working party? Its achievements should properly be assessed by the choices it made; by what it did not do, as well as by what it did. Its schedule implied the assumption that Professor Ganz would leave long before he agreed to do so. It could have said – hey, why not keep Ganz? it’ll be cheaper – but didn’t. Individual members could have refused to serve unless they could shape the remit, but didn’t.

They could have protested at the treatment of a colleague, but chose not to do so. They could have acknowledged the Professor's contribution to college and discipline, but did not. They could have tried to link the cost of palaeography to other areas of expense at King's, but didn’t.

They advanced the notion that there is some difference between manuscript studies and palaeography without explaining the distinction between the two. They defined a new job, but skated over the task of saying where it differed from the old one. They turned their back on the fate of an individual to concentrate on the preservation of a position.

They dutifully answered the questions set by management, but chose not to wonder whether different questions should be posed. Either way, the working party allowed itself to be put in the position of providing a distraction – by concentrating attention on the resurrection of palaeography in the future, it served to divert attention away from its untimely death in the present. Its report permitted the "palaeography saved" headlines which obscured the fact of Professor Ganz's eviction.

...
Quote:
Note -- This account derives from reading the report of the working party side-by-side with the various press releases put out by management in the past few months. That is to say, if there are any errors of dates, then these lie in the documents themselves.

 


 
Found thanks to a 2010-08-10 posting by Iain Pears in the facebook group Save Palaeography At King's London.
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King's College London: palaeography: statement
Reply #57 - 11.10.2010 at 09:01:17
 
At http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=303202385890&topic=14843 you can now read i.a.:
Quote:
STATEMENT FROM KINGS (9 October 10)

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Quote:
In Professor David Ganz the College has had not only an erudite scholar of early medieval scripts and manuscripts but also an advocate of Palaeography as a subject which should be generally available to students. His tenure of the Chair has been distinguished by his offering classes both to undergraduates and postgraduates and his enthusiasm for proselytising for his subject. It is no longer the case, as the College Calendar said of Professor Wormald’s in 1959, that, ‘Courses will be arranged, where possible, as required’. Rather, Professor Ganz has enthusiastically taught classes in Palaeography for MA Students in Classics, History and English and courses in the history of the book for undergraduates, and has begun the process of making Palaeography a mainstream discipline in the School of Arts and Humanities – a legacy of Professor Ganz’s tenure which the School hopes to develop further. The College is pleased that Professor Ganz will become Professor Emeritus of Palaeography at King’s College London, and that King’s will be able to carry forward studies in the discipline which he has worked tirelessly to protect.

For the future, the College anticipates recruiting at an international level for a Professor of Palaeography and Manuscript Studies who will lead Palaeography at King’s towards its centenary and play a leading role in the discipline both in King’s and among medievalists in the UK.

 
No source given. I didn't find it with a quick and dirty search on KCL's webpage.
 
And: BTW: no post-mediaeval palaeography is mentioned.
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Morgan on: King's College London: palaeography
Reply #58 - 22.10.2010 at 08:47:18
 
John Morgan:
Writing was on the wall for palaeography chair
"THE" 2010-10-21

 
i.a.:
Quote:
King's College London has confirmed the controversial departure of Britain's only professor of palaeography, praising his role in "tirelessly protecting" the discipline.

King's says in a statement that David Ganz will become emeritus professor of palaeography. Originally, the college proposed to drop the study of ancient writing entirely as part of plans to save £27 million across the institution.

But after criticism from international scholars, it decided to scrap the current post - the only palaeography chair in the UK - and establish a new chair in "palaeography and manuscript studies" from 2012.

Despite the U-turn on palaeography as a discipline, King's remained determined that Professor Ganz should move on.

...
Quote:
The question of how the college will raise the money for the new chair, to be funded entirely through "philanthropic monies", remains unclear.

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Quote:
Times Higher Education asked King's whether the previous funding would contribute to the new chair, or whether it would have to raise the entire endowment afresh. The college did not respond.

 


 
Found thanks to https://twitter.com/xentahl/statuses/28055709625 .
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King's College London: palaeography job add
Reply #59 - 22.06.2011 at 14:30:06
 
The story continues: at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/ACV171/professor-of-palaeography-and-manuscript-studie s/ you can find a job add (dated 2011-06-20) for the postion of KCL Professor of Palaeography & Manuscript Studies.
 


 
Found thanks to https://twitter.com/#!/hypocras/status/83463123549433856 .
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Re:  King's College London: palaeography job
Reply #60 - 14.07.2011 at 11:59:22
 
Quote from hck on 22.06.2011 at 14:30:06:
The story continues: at http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/ACV171/professor-of-palaeography-and-manuscript-studie s/ you can find a job add (dated 2011-06-20) for the postion of KCL Professor of Palaeography & Manuscript Studies.




Found thanks to https://twitter.com/#!/hypocras/status/83463123549433856 .

 
On this now see John Morgan: King's looks for more support for new chair (2011-07-14): i.a.:
 
Quote:
King's College London is advertising for a new professor of palaeography, but private funding is yet to materialise after the controversial decision to scrap the original post.

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Quote:
King's, which accepted the working party's recommendations, has now invited applications for a "chair in palaeography and manuscript studies" to start in September 2012.

But on fundraising, the college's spokeswoman said: "We are exploring possibilities of securing philanthropic support. In the meantime, the new post will be funded from the college's core budget."

One academic expert in the field, who asked not be named, said the most likely source of donations for the chair would have been "alumni with particular interests in the medieval period...who had noticed the negative publicity".

They said King's may have realised "it would be a bit hard to ask the very people who had expressed so much distress at the original decision...to then turn around and give money for a new chair".

...
Quote:
The college spokeswoman said Professor Ganz, who is now emeritus professor, "opted to take early retirement". Critics say he had no choice.

Teresa Webber, senior lecturer in palaeography at the University of Cambridge, said she "cannot discern any significant differences in the scope of the discipline (the new chair) outlines from the remit of the former chair". But the King's spokeswoman said the new post "has a broader remit than the previous chair, as indicated by the change of title", highlighting the focus on "leadership" and "digital techniques", the commitment to teaching summer schools and supervising research students, as well as "a formal requirement to take an active part in the intellectual and administrative life of the school".

 


 
Found thanks to https://twitter.com/medievalpecia/statuses/91443298388017152
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