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King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography (Read 70653 times)
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King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
01.02.2010 at 16:55:03
 
Most of you will already know about this, but just in case that not:
 
King's College London (KCL) apparently is not only cutting jobs in contemporary philosophy (see here), but also poised to eliminate its chair in palaeography (which seems to be the only one in the UK): see e.g. here.
 
Or, if you want a shorter version: here is something (by Jeffrey F. Hamburger and/or Richard Raiswell) which I received via the FICINO email distribution list:
Quote:
Kings College London is undertaking what they call strategic disinvestment
and have informed our colleague, David Ganz, on Tuesday that funding for
the Chair in Palaeography will cease from 31 August this year, when David
will be out of a job. This is part of a wider context whereby all academic
staff in the School of Arts and Humanities at Kings have to re-apply for
their own jobs before the 1st March. They think this the most humane way
of losing 22 academic posts.

Kings Chair is the only established chair in Palaeography in the UK (held
by our late members Julian Brown and Tilly de la Mare). I am, naturally,
writing on behalf of the Comite to express dismay at the loss of the Chair
but the more people who write in protest the better.

The person to write to is: Professor Rick Trainor, The Principal, Kings
College, The Strand, London WC2R 2LS and copy to Professor Jan Palmowski,
Head of the School of Arts and Humanities.

 
The email addresses of the two persons mentioned above (professores Trainor & Palmowski) seem to be principal@kcl.ac.uk and jan.palmowski@kcl.ac.uk .
I mailed there, but up to now I have received no response.
 
If you are using twitter and want to tweet about this: suggested hashtags are #savepalaeography and #KCL.
 
There's a facebook group ("Save Paleography At King's London") on this at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=303202385890&ref=nf .
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #1 - 01.02.2010 at 17:03:44
 
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #2 - 01.02.2010 at 17:50:12
 
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #3 - 01.02.2010 at 17:58:49
 
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MAA  King's College London cuts: palaeography
Reply #4 - 02.02.2010 at 08:29:48
 
Now there is a statement by the Medieval Academy of America: http://www.medievalacademy.org/pdf/KingsCollege.pdf .
 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/kindofpalejewel/status/8516636688 .
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ITM: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #5 - 02.02.2010 at 17:03:03
 
Now there's also a posting on this at In the Middle: http://www.inthemedievalmiddle.com/2010/02/palaeography-at-kings-college-london. html .
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Online petition: KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #6 - 03.02.2010 at 12:09:02
 
Thanks to http://twitter.com/kindofpalejewel/status/8583328978 I learned about the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/spkcl10/ - and just signed it.
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Re: Online petition: KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #7 - 03.02.2010 at 13:56:58
 
Quote from hck on 03.02.2010 at 12:09:02:
Thanks to http://twitter.com/kindofpalejewel/status/8583328978 I learned about the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/spkcl10/ - and just signed it.

 
Within a few hours this petition has received more than 500 signatures (511 as of now): see http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?spkcl10 .
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Some statistics re KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #8 - 03.02.2010 at 17:07:59
 
Some statistics: today at 16:26h GMT+1 this thread here had 315 "views" via the web interface (plus an unknown number of readers via the RSS feeds).
 
Mary Beard's 2010-01-28 text which probably was extremely influential in starting reactions to King's College London's plans to eliminate their chair for palaeography when last visited by me (a few minutes ago) had received some 50 comments (the last one yesterday).
 
There were several dozen tweets on twitter with the hashtag #savepalaeography. Sever new ones seem to be added (almost) every hour, but #savepalaeography has not (yet) made it into the "trending" topics.
 
The facebook group "Stop Philosophy Faculty Cuts at King's College London" at 16:33h GMT+1 had 2556 members, the once dedicated to the threat to palaeography ("Save Paleography At King's London") had a few more: 2577.
 
I don't know how many mails opposing the plans to cut the palaeography chair Prof. Trainor has received by now (electronically and/or on paper and/or via fax <and/or via owl post>).
 
The probably most successful platform for and means of protest against these plans that I know of is the electronic petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/spkcl10/petition.html , which hasn't been active for a very long time (I learned about it near noon today, almost immediately signed, and am listed there as signatory number 141), and which as of now (16:54h GMT+1) has received 1151 signatures - and quite a number of splendid persons, great scholars, etc. amongst the signatories.
Both facebook (via normal interpersonal relations and via the above mentioned group) and twitter have been used (successfully) as tools to point people to this petition.
 
 
 
Whatsoever the outcome will be: There are several lessons about coalition building in a virtual world and the use of more than just one tool for the dissemination of information and for discussion that can be learned from this. And I myself am still continuing my learning process.
Perhaps in the end we will find out that palaeography at King's was saved by a single letter written in Latin and on parchment in a 21st century imitation of a highly abbreviated early 15th century "gothic" script?
 
 
 
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Re: Some statistics re KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #9 - 04.02.2010 at 08:20:50
 
Quote from hck on 03.02.2010 at 17:07:59:

Perhaps in the end we will find out that palaeography at King's was saved by a single letter written in Latin and on parchment in a 21st century imitation of a highly abbreviated early 15th century "gothic" script?

 
Of course I assume that such a letter would be addressed to the Queen, not to the principal of KCL.  
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Ken Mondschein on KCL vs KCL palaeography &c.
Reply #10 - 04.02.2010 at 14:22:57
 
Now there is also an article by Ken Mondschein on this affair (and the protests) at http://thefastertimes.com/academicpolitics/2010/02/03/a-bunch-of-pissed-off-medi evalists/ .
 
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #11 - 04.02.2010 at 18:15:30
 
Now there is also this letter by Medium Aevum.
 


 
Found thanks to a posting by David Rundle in the facebook group.
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ICMA letter re KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #12 - 05.02.2010 at 09:24:26
 
A letter to The Principal of King's College London and Jan Palmowski by/on behalf of the International Center of Medieval Art  can be found at http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/6173563/ .
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KCL doc re cuts: i.a. in palaeography
Reply #13 - 05.02.2010 at 10:24:18
 
A King's College London Arts & Humanities Restructuring Consultation Document can be found at http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/06/80/12/AHConsultationDoc.pdf .
 


 
Found thanks to http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/02/full-kcl-restructuring-plan-releas ed.html .
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Com.int.paleogr.Lat. re KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #14 - 08.02.2010 at 11:48:41
 
Letters by members of the Comité International de Paléographie Latine can be found at http://www.palaeographia.org/cipl/actu/paleoatkings.htm .
 


 
Found thanks to a posting by Adam Ganz in the facebook group which has now been renamed to "Save Palaeography At King's London".
 


 
BTW: The petition which can be signed at http://www.petitiononline.com/spkcl10/petition-sign.html now has 5204 signatures.
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« Last Edit: 08.02.2010 at 16:54:05 by hck »  

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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #15 - 08.02.2010 at 16:55:48
 
Craig Melson, a former student of KCL,  seems to have received a reply to a letter concerning this affair: http://kingscuttagelondon.blogspot.com/2010/02/official-response-from-kcl.html .
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John Crace on KCL plans to eliminate palaeography
Reply #16 - 09.02.2010 at 08:50:55
 
Probably from a classicist's perspective: John Crace: Writing off the UK's last palaeographer ("The Guardian", 2010-02-09).
 


 
Found thanks to a pointer by Heather D. Baker in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London".
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Harvard Crimson on KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #17 - 10.02.2010 at 09:18:47
 
James K. McAuley & Julia L. Ryan: Cuts Threaten Unique Post ("The harvard Croimson", 2010-02-02) focussed, well, very much on Jeffrey F. Hamburger's activities to try to save the King’s College London chair in palaeography.
 
It does not mention the (considerable) other activities on this behalf (but a comment by Daniel DiCenso there does).
 
 
 
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Halford on KCL cuts:  palaeography
Reply #18 - 10.02.2010 at 09:52:03
 
Macy Halford: It's Tuesday. Why Not Post Some Sad Paleography News ("The New Yorker", 2010-02-09)
 
i.a.:  
Quote:
On a symbolic level, it seems the most significant: historical manuscripts are not just primary sources, they are the source—the final material link (with art and architecture) to our intellectual past. That they will all inevitably be digitized, sent into the cloud, and parsed by the hive is little consolation—no more than what would be offered by a digital photo of Chartres cathedral. As my medievalist friend and I learned the year we took an introductory paleography course together, the ability to read a manuscript written in medieval Latin has basically nothing to do with the ability to read medieval Latin.

 


 
Found thanks to http://twitter.com/krisrich/statuses/8862619800 .
 
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Some updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #19 - 11.02.2010 at 09:43:29
 

  • The petition to save institutionalised palaeography at King's College London now (2010-02-11, 09:27h GMT+1) has  6123 signatures.
     
  • Lynette Eyb: Can the Power of Social Networks Save Palaeography at King's College London? (2010-02-10, "The Ancient World in London" (found thanks to a pointer by Daniel DiCenso in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London" <click on the tab "Wall" there>).
     
  • John Morgan: International scholars decry the 'madness' of King's (2010-02-11, "THE")  (found thanks to a pointer by Adam Ganz in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London" <click on the tab "Wall" there>):
    Quote:
    Proposals to make redundant two leading computational linguists, Shalom Lappin and Wilfried Meyer-Viol, and to abolish the UK's only chair in palaeography - the study of ancient scripts - have become rallying points for campaigners.

    A Facebook group, "Save Palaeography at King's London", which includes a letter of protest by Jeffrey Hamburger, chair of the medieval studies committee at Harvard University, had attracted about 4,500 supporters by 8 February, while an online petition has more than 5,500 signatures.

    In addition, academics have sent more than 20 letters to King's management protesting against the treatment of Professor Lappin and Dr Meyer-Viol, members of the department of philosophy, which was rated in the top three for its subject in the 2008 research assessment exercise.

    ...
    Quote:
    Helen Beebee, director of the British Philosophical Association, warns in a letter to Rick Trainor, principal of King's, that "few people are happy to work in an institution that treats its staff in this way", warning that other scholars may "seek employment elsewhere".

    Academics have also warned that the loss of the palaeography chair, currently held by David Ganz, will have wide-ranging implications.

    Daniel DiCenso, Gates scholar in the department of music at the University of Cambridge, said that the plan would leave "manuscript-rich England without a hub of palaeographic study, giving way to centres in the US and Canada".

     
  • Sheila Lawlor: Labour's dumb university cuts (2010-02-10, "guardian.co.uk") (found thanks to a pointer by Daniel DiCenso in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London" <click on the tab "Wall" there>):
    Quote:
    As elsewhere in the public sector, the problem is not just boom-to-bust funding – it's that cuts are in all the wrong places

    ...
    Quote:
    The government seems set on attacking the academic subjects in the humanities while promoting its agenda for "access". If those in the universities who do the government's bidding have their way, the effect will be to undermine the chances of students and destroy the jobs of academics. It will be one more stage in the decline of Britain's once proud university system; and with it not just the education of new generations, but the income earned for this country from one of its most successful industries.

    ...
    Quote:
    In Leeds biological sciences is to be cut; in King's College London the UK's only paleography professorship is to go and cuts will focus on engineering and American studies. Not only that but academics will have to reapply for their jobs. And KCL is one of the universities with reserves.

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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #20 - 11.02.2010 at 10:26:03
 
Now there is also a (somewhat strange?) 2010-02-10 entry at Nugatorius scriptor: King’s Palaeography Gets Press:
Quote:
On Apilist, the APICES mailing list, some important mails suggested that people focus efforts on writing letters to the principal rather than on a publicity campaign. I suspect that it was felt that publicly voiced animosity would not be productive, and as far as I know that hasn’t happened. This may explain why there isn’t a prominent (western-oriented) medievalist taking up the role Finkel has presently. The upshot of the (in)action is that the publicity now appears to be coming from the press rather than an embittered group of cloistered professors of archaic studies. That is it’s a story, not a letter to the editor, and so, one hopes, more noticeable.

In looking at some of the signatures on the on-line petition (6042 signatures at present), it is a delight to see the number of librarians and archivists who have lent their names, the good number of people working in humanities technologies (also known as digital humanities, humanistic informatics and so on) and all the calligraphers, freelancers and others. The number of letters from outside the strictly medievalist or classicist communities should reinforce the public role palaeography plays (never mind how arcane the whole ‘palaeo’-thing sounds).

 
 
 
On Apilist you can read at http://www.palaeographia.org/apices/apices.htm?P=apilist :
Quote:
• La liste est réservée aux membres des organisations concernées. Ceux-ci sont automatiquement inscrits dans la liste par les responsables de ces organisations.
• Seuls les membres de ces organisations peuvent diffuser leurs messages par l'intermédiaire de la liste.
|
• The list is exclusive to the members of the aforesaid organisations, who will be registered automatically by the staff.
• Only the members of these organisations are entitled to send messages via the list.

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Re: Some updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #21 - 12.02.2010 at 08:41:52
 
Quote from hck on 11.02.2010 at 09:43:29:

 
By now there are updates and comments to this text. The situation at King's College London as of now (2010-02-12, 8:39h GMT+1) is not mentioned in the updates, but in the comments it is.
 
And the petition now has 6346 signatures (see here).
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Brian Leiter on King's College London cuts
Reply #22 - 12.02.2010 at 13:19:50
 
Brian Leiter by now has obviously decided to get rid of any velvet gloves he might ever have used when typing his blog entries on what is or might be happening at KCL: see The King's College, London Scandal Deepens: Using a Budget Crisis to Impose an Administrative Agenda and Attack Academic Freedom (2010-02-11) (palaeography is mentioned in the comments section), and especially Jan Palmowski of King's College, London: The Most Disgraceful Academic Administrator Alive? (2010-02-11) (no comments visible to that posting up to now (2010-02-12, 13:15 GMT+1), but comments at Leiter's blog are moderated, and hence do not appear immediately).
 
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Nugatorius scriptor on: KCL cuts: palaeography
Reply #23 - 12.02.2010 at 13:24:22
 
There is now a new item on this in/by Nugatorius scriptor at http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/02/the-kings-college-london-scandal-d eepens-using-a-budget-crisis-to-impose-an-administrative-agenda.html . (There are also some interesting comments there - and I'm not talking about the one by me.)
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Re: Brian Leiter on King's College London cuts
Reply #24 - 15.02.2010 at 09:47:33
 
Quote from hck on 12.02.2010 at 13:19:50:
Brian Leiter by now has obviously decided to get rid of any velvet gloves he might ever have used when typing his blog entries on what is or might be happening at KCL: see The King's College, London Scandal Deepens: Using a Budget Crisis to Impose an Administrative Agenda and Attack Academic Freedom (2010-02-11) (palaeography is mentioned in the comments section), and especially Jan Palmowski of King's College, London: The Most Disgraceful Academic Administrator Alive? (2010-02-11) (no comments visible to that posting up to now (2010-02-12, 13:15 GMT+1), but comments at Leiter's blog are moderated, and hence do not appear immediately).


 
Jan Palmowski of King's College, London: The Most Disgraceful Academic Administrator Alive? seems to be no longer available.
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More updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #25 - 15.02.2010 at 10:18:28
 
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Re: Brian Leiter on King's College London cuts
Reply #26 - 15.02.2010 at 11:50:55
 
Quote from hck on 15.02.2010 at 09:47:33:

Hopefully Leiter will give us an explanation soon.  At the time of writing, it's still available via the Google cache.
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Recent updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #27 - 17.02.2010 at 08:38:51
 

  • Geoff Guth: Paleography: A Small Stopover in the Decline of the Academy (see also the comments there)
     
  • Anthony Grafton: Slow food and fast, University style (found thanks to Alex Toledano on the wall of the  the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London"  <which BTW now has 5887 members>); the item i.a. also mentions the Sussex cuts. Definitely worth reading: Quote:
    Accept the short term as your standard — fund only what students want to study right not and outside agencies want to fund right now — and you lose the future. The subjects and methods that will matter most 20 years from now are very often the ones that nobody values very much right now. Slow scholarship — like Slow Food — is deeper and richer and more nourishing than the fast stuff. But it takes longer to make, and, to do it properly, you have to employ eccentric people who insist on doing things their way. The British used to know that, but now they’ve streaked by us on the way to the other, burger-flipping extreme.

    At this point, American universities are more invested than British in the old ways — and few of us now envy our British colleagues. But straws show how the wind blows. Here, too, the language of “impact” and “investment” is heard in the land (and in central New Jersey). Here, too, there’s less commitment than there used to be to studies that are both unpopular and fundamental. If you start hearing newspeak about “sustainable excellence clusters,” watch out. We’ll be following the British down the short road to McDonald’s.

     
  • Rebecca Titus-Cobb: Storm of protest over “savage” cuts ripping through KCL One of the comments says: Quote:
    Short-term memory effect: KCL did this last in 2003-4 with Chemistry and then Biology. Students and staff can protest all they want, but if management want change, they’ll happen.

    (found thanks to Daniel DiCenso on the wall of the  the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London")
     
  • The petition now (2010-02-17, 08:33h GMT+1) has 6804 signatures (see here)
     
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #28 - 18.02.2010 at 08:48:46
 
Thanks to Jonathan Grove for pointing me to http://mykcl.com/unions/ucu/nocuts-20090508.html (a 2010-01-27 item with links to information on the financial background and other things).
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Re: Some updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #29 - 18.02.2010 at 15:29:28
 
Quote from hck on 11.02.2010 at 09:43:29:

 
There is now the following text in a 2010-02-17 comment to the text at http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=410 351&c=1 :
Quote:
# Principal, King's College London 17 February, 2010

The report (11 February) about possible academic restructuring at King’s gave vent to some colourful language from overseas scholars who are seemingly unaware of the financial pressures that all British universities are experiencing. The proposals that have been developed at King’s for academic and financial sustainability are in consultation and ideas and suggestions will be discussed with our internal community. No decisions have been made and subjects such as Palaeography and Computational Linguistics, for example, have the opportunity to argue the case for continued investment. Rick Trainor Principal, King’s College London

I found this - once again - thanks to Adam Ganz  (who BTW uses rather cautious language pointing to it).
 
As of now I very very serious doubts concerning the authenticity of that comment. Hence I sent - once again - an email:
Quote:

       From: Heinrich C. Kuhn <hck@lrz.uni-muenchen.de>
To: principal@kcl.ac.uk
Subject: probably fake THE comment on the situation at KCL
Date sent: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 15:22:01 +0100
Send reply to: hck@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Copies to: jan.palmowski@kcl.ac.uk


Dear Prof. Trainor,

although I assume that you are already aware of what this
email here is about, I'm not sure, and hence do write to you
(again).

In the comments section to
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode
=410351&c=1
viz.
http://is.gd/8Eozq
you can read the following text:
<QUOTE>
# Principal, King's College London 17 February, 2010

The report (11 February) about possible academic restructuring at
King´s gave vent to some colourful language from overseas scholars who
are seemingly unaware of the financial pressures that all British
universities are experiencing. The proposals that have been developed
at King´s for academic and financial sustainability are in consultation
and ideas and suggestions will be discussed with our internal
community. No decisions have been made and subjects such as
Palaeography and Computational Linguistics, for example, have the
opportunity to argue the case for continued investment. Rick Trainor
Principal, King´s College London
</QUOTE>

I assume that this is NOT a text written by you, but by somebody
who (wrongfully) tries to impersonate you, because I assume that
you will be aware, that:
1. I (and many many others) did not use a "vent" for our language,
but wrote to you driven by true and loyal concern about the
future of your institution (at which I myself learned a lot
as a guest student back in the 1980s).
2. What was sent was (in all the cases which I know about) not
"some colourful language", but reasons why an abolishment
of the chair for palaeography (etc.) would permanently
damage not only King's college but also a good part of the
academic world outside of KCL.
3. A petition with by now 6904 signatures (
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?spkcl10
, and quite a number of illustrious names on it ... ), not
to mention the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's
London" with by now 5953 members, etc.: that's not something
small enough to pass through a "vent": it's a storm.
4. Many of those who wrote to you, signed that petition, etc. are
NOT persons "who are seemingly unaware of the financial
pressures that all British universities are experiencing":
Many of us have - alas - seen also difficult financial
situations at our own institutions, and done our duty:
tried to preserve what cut not be cut without permanent and
serious damage.
5. Meaningful discussions of/on actions/plans potentially damaging
not only to KCL, but also the world outside of KCL cannot be
restricted to the "internal community": Academic institutions
do have a responsibility that extends beyond their borders.
6. That "subjects such as Palaeography and Computational
Linguistics, for example, have the opportunity to argue the
case for continued investment" is only part of the story:
there have been lots of arguments from outside KCL, and
disregarding them holds the danger to isolate KCL - not
a good thing IMO.
7. It does not matter whether somebody concerned about the
situation at KCL is an "overseas scholar" or an English
person. What matters are the arguments.
Hence I assume that that comment at
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode
=410351&c=1
viz.
http://is.gd/8Eozq
was/is not yours, but by some fake author.

Regards

Heinrich C. Kuhn
P.S: What I wrote to you on 2010-02-01 IMO still holds:
Having heard about KCL plans to cut the King's College
professorship for palaeography I'm still worried. Admittedly
it is possible to "outsource" teaching palaeography to other
teaching personnel (I myself do teach palaeography every now
and then to my students, focussed on their an my interests
[i.e. renaissance philosophical texts - mainly Latin]), but
without a real specialist in the field you will loose somebody
with a more general view of the picture, and you will loose
research (and hence progress) in palaeography. Palaeography
functions as a hub for all the fields connected to the
study of (the history of) the creation and transmission of
written documents and texts, and hence is of essential
importance to a great many specialised areas.
King's College and the whole of the UK will loose far more
than just a professorship if you cut *that* professorship.
P.P.S.: Up to now I did not receive a reply to that mail of
mine.
P.P.P.S. on 2010-02-11 I wrote as a comment to a posting by
Paul Halsall on the wall of that facebook group:
"A number of us of us do teach palaeography, but most of
us do it on a case by case basis, and with a rather narrow
focus (e.g.: in my case: mainly Renaissance Latin
philosophy texts). So the knowledge how to read old
manuscripts etc. would not be lost. But what would be
lost would be knowledge about and research on the more
general topic of historical human scripts and their
development, variants, and contexts etc.. Who is able
to read a 14th century philosophy manuscript won't
necessarily be able to read a deed from the same time,
let alone a vernacular poem from the 16th century; and
who focuses on reading *texts* often has some disregard
for other aspects of the *document*. Institutionalised
palaeography qua palaeography (and not just as a training
to be able to read this or that manuscript or early
printed book or inscription) is needed to keep and
develop awareness of the broader contexts."
And Paul Booth responded to this: "There should be a
different name for what most of us do when training students
to read particular types of document - 'Practical
Palaeography' perhaps? Even that is shrinking. Relatively few
archivists in England are now trained to read the common
types of Latin documents, for example, although all learn
a great deal about electronic media."
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2010-02-22 updates re KCL  cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #30 - 22.02.2010 at 11:20:01
 
2010-02-22, 11:10h GMT+1:

  • The facebookgroup "Save Palaeography At King's London" now has 6074 members.  
     
  • The petition concerning palaeography now has 7127 signatures (see here).
     
  • I have not yet received any reply by Prof. Trainor to any of my two emails to him.
     
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2010-02-25 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #31 - 25.02.2010 at 09:53:58
 

  • No, I still received no answer by Prof. Trainor to any of my two emails, but: He was/is in communication with the THE: John Morgan: King's chief warns of cuts twice as severe as those made by Thatcher (2010-02-25):
    Quote:
    International critics of the proposed cuts at King's College London need to consider the severity of the UK financial crisis, according to its principal.

    King's is consulting with staff over plans to cut 205 jobs.

    Scholars from around the world have written to the college's management condemning their proposals to abolish the UK's only chair in palaeography - the study of ancient handwriting - and to make two leading computational linguists redundant.

    Rick Trainor, King's principal, told Times Higher Education: "I think it's important for people looking at the situation at King's or elsewhere in the UK to have the perspective of the very real fiscal pressures on public expenditure caused by the banking crisis of 2008, and also to see what we're trying to preserve - not just what is at risk of being cut."
    (found thanks to a posting by Adam Ganz on the Wall of the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London")
     
  • That facebook group now has 6133 members.
     
  • And the petition now has 7246 signatures (see here).
     
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2010-03-01 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #32 - 01.03.2010 at 10:35:49
 
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2010-03-02 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #33 - 02.03.2010 at 12:19:25
 
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Re: 2010-03-01 upds re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #34 - 04.03.2010 at 11:29:39
 
Quote from hck on 01.03.2010 at 10:35:49:

    ...

  •  No, I have still not yet received any answer from Prof. Trainor, but he signed an open letter Don't ditch arts funding in favour of science. It's vital to our society (2010-02-28): see here.


 
Now there are comments on Trainor's co-signing that letter (or others co-signing it with him): see http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2010/feb/28/observer-letters-arts-funding? showallcomments=true#CommentKey:18001e18-4881-4e28-bc42-d7e9cbd5f79a .
 


 
Found thanks to http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/03/hypocrites-have-no-shame-rick-trai nor-kcl-defends-the-humanities.html .
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2010-03-05 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #35 - 05.03.2010 at 09:45:12
 
Some rather minimal updates:
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Re: Recent updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #36 - 10.03.2010 at 16:08:56
 
Quote from hck on 17.02.2010 at 08:38:51:

 
There is a second, 2010-03-09 version of this text: Anthony Grafton: Britain: The Disgrace of the Universities
 


 
I'll probably post some additional updates tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.
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2010-03-11 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #37 - 11.03.2010 at 13:23:51
 
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2010-03-23 updates re KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #38 - 23.03.2010 at 16:48:26
 
Once again some minor updates:
 
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #39 - 23.03.2010 at 22:37:21
 
Academics at KCL who are members of the University and College Union have voted in favour of a strike on Tuesday 30th March.
 
More details here:
 
http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=4514
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=410 944&c=1
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #40 - 26.03.2010 at 08:47:56
 
The plans to cut the chair of palaeography now are a matter for the UK Parliament: at http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40825&SESSION=903 you can read:
Quote:
Early Day Motion
EDM 1179

CHAIR OF PALAEOGRAPHY AT KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
24.03.2010


Boswell, Tim

That this House notes the proposal by the Executive of Kings College London as part of its budget review process to abolish the Chair of Palaeography, the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom; further notes the fundamental importance of palaeography to a broad and interdisciplinary scholarly community; considers that without the development of palaeographic skills, millions of documents would be rendered inaccessible, thus depriving the nation of its full historical legacy; and therefore urges Kings College London to consider very carefully any proposals in respect to this prestigious and important Chair.

 


 
Found thanks to a posting by Iain Pears in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London".
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #41 - 31.03.2010 at 10:56:04
 
Quote from hck on 26.03.2010 at 08:47:56:
The plans to cut the chair of palaeography now are a matter for the UK Parliament: at http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40825&SESSION=903 you can read:
Quote:
Early Day Motion
EDM 1179

CHAIR OF PALAEOGRAPHY AT KING'S COLLEGE LONDON
24.03.2010


Boswell, Tim

That this House notes the proposal by the Executive of Kings College London as part of its budget review process to abolish the Chair of Palaeography, the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom; further notes the fundamental importance of palaeography to a broad and interdisciplinary scholarly community; considers that without the development of palaeographic skills, millions of documents would be rendered inaccessible, thus depriving the nation of its full historical legacy; and therefore urges Kings College London to consider very carefully any proposals in respect to this prestigious and important Chair.





Found thanks to a posting by Iain Pears in the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London".

 
This motion by now has been signed/propsed/seconded by 9 MPs, from 3 parties (Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat): see http://www.edms.org.uk/edms/2009-2010/1179.htm .  
 
The motion has been proposed by Tim Boswell. His 8th of March motion "West Northamptonshire Development Corporation Initiative On Construction Skills" is supported by 21 MPs ... (see http://www.edms.org.uk/edms/2009-2010/1032.htm ).
 


 
Pointer found thanks to Peter J. Ridley posting to the facebook group "Stop Classical Archaeology and Art Faculty Cuts at King's College London"
 




Some additional updates:  

  • Anthony Grafton may have written on this affair once again (Britain: The Disgrace of the Universities, the part that is not behind a subscription wall seen 2010-03-31, official date 2010-04-08): see http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=23771 . (Found thanks to Daniel DiCenso on the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London".
     
     
     
  • Ian Pears (2010-03-26) reports at http://boonery.blogspot.com/2010/03/on-dark-arts.html on a KCL response: [url]As part of an article in the Guardian on 23rd March, an unnamed spokesman announced that
     
    “The college management deplores the reckless campaign orchestrated to upset the consultation process by undermining the college's reputation. The college has conducted the consultation processes in good faith and believes that the procedures applied in each instance are fair and transparent.”[/url]
     
     
     
  • The facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London" now has 6625 members (2010-03-23: 6559).
     
  • The petition now has 7958 signatures (see http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?spkcl10 , 2010-03-23: 7922)
     
     
  • And, no: no surprises there: as of now I have still not received any reply to my mails from Prof. Trainor.
     
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KCL cuts: Coleman vs Leiter, Leiter vs Coleman
Reply #42 - 31.03.2010 at 14:54:40
 
Just found:
Brian Leiter responds (2010-03-30) here to Daniel Coleman's 2010-03-26 The Entitlement Mentality in Academia - which I hadn't read before.
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petition 2 save palaeography @ KCL: 8000signatures
Reply #43 - 14.04.2010 at 16:59:25
 
Quote from hck on 31.03.2010 at 10:56:04:


 
The petition right now has 8000 signatures! (see http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?spkcl10 )
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2010-04-20 updates re: KCL cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #44 - 20.04.2010 at 09:06:24
 

     
  • The facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London" now has 6717 members.
     
  • In said facebook group Daniel DiCenso posted the following text:
    Quote:
    From David Ganz: Dear Friends, Some of you may have received the letter below sent on behalf of the Principal of King's College. While I am delighted that the College has set up a working party on the future of Palaeography, and I hope that it may be able to respond... to each of the letters sent concerning the proposed 'disinvestment' in the Chair, that 'disinvestment' remains current policy, even though King's College acknowledges that it has been in receipt of Higher Education Funding Council monies awarded for the support of the Chair of Palaeography, which all parties have accepted to be a discipline which cannot fund itself by student numbers or similar criteria. The College has also received funding for the Chair from the Wolfson Foundation. At no stage have I been told why the College has chosen Palaeography, which has a partly funded Chair, unique in Great Britian, as a discipline for 'disinvestment'. If that decision relates to my tenure of the Chair, I should like everyone interested to be told. If it relates to the funding of the Chair I should like everyone interested to be told. If it relates to a wider remit for the role of palaeography in London, I should like everyine to be told. It is not clear to me that it is the working party, rather than the Principal's Central Team, which should answer these questions. I have been accused of orchestrating a campaign hostile to King's College. I have the highest admiration and gratitude for the support which King's Colege has given to the Chair since 1949, and for the wisdom with which it invested monies granted to it for the support of the Chair. But I am forwarding this message to those bulletin boards which have expressed their concern for the future of the Chair, and their desire to support the Chair in various ways, in the hope that someone can clarify the reasons behind the current policy, and the reasons why it appears immutable.

    (Highlighting mine (hck). BTW: In this affair I do not consider myself to be part of an orchestra, let alone one conducted/orchestrated/whatever by David Ganz. All the actions (and lack of action) potentially damaging to KCL and its prestige which I have seen up to now in this affair are actions (and lack thereof) by those proposing and preparing these cuts. And I guess that's not only true for just me, but also for a few other persons too; if Prof. Ganz should indeed have been accused of "orchestrating a campaign hostile to King's College" - and I've, alas, seen nothing from KCL that would provide me with a reason to doubt that statement - : I'd consider this as an (additional?) insult also in my direction.)
     
  • Iain Pears pointed in said facebook group to his blog posting The Empire Strikes Back (2010-04-19)  
    Quote:
    The damage to academic freedom, King’s reputation, its ability to attract high-level foreign scholars, the British University system as a whole, will remain – possibly in more muted form, but it will not be reversed and will not go away.

    Those in charge of King’s had an opportunity to repair the damage they so gratuitously inflicted on the organisation they are supposed to serve.

    It is increasingly clear that they do not have the slightest real desire to do so; their horizons are limited solely to the problem of getting themselves out of a mess.

    It will be up to the academic world in general to decide how much respect an institution deserves when it is under the control of such people.

    Quote:
    I see from David Ganz's post this afternoon that the management of King's is still banging on about orchestrated campaigns. I have discussed this before, but in view of the seriousness of matters now it is worth revisiting. I have not talked about this article, or any others I have written, with either Professor Ganz, or any of the other people targetted for dismissal. They have quite enough on their plates already. I have, however, talked to several people at King's, inside and outside the administration, to get information. If King's insists on continuing with this tired musical metaphor, then I must place myself as a lone busker, rather than as part of any band.

     
     
     
     
  • The petition now has 8020 signatures: see here.
     
     
     
  • No, still no answer to my emails to Trainor and Palmowski. (And, unless there should be an answer: this is the last time I'll mention these emails.)
     
     
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Re: King's College London cuts: i.a. palaeography
Reply #45 - 11.05.2010 at 12:40:54
 
There might be good news: KCL administration might have decided not to actually force anybody out: see John Morgan: Arts and humanities given reprieve at King's, but strike may go ahead (2010-05-06).  
(Sorry about reporting this that late: These are very busy days for me.)
 


 
Found thanks to Heather D. Baker (fb group "Save Palaeography At King's London").
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King's College Ldn: good news re palaeography &c.
Reply #46 - 19.05.2010 at 08:54:47
 
This time: good news: Palaegraphy (and Computational Linguistics and some other fields) apparently are permitted to survive at King's College London (KCL): see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/07/46/40/ConsultationEnd1.pdf : there you can read i.a.:
 
Quote:
Submissions and opinions of members of the external academic community were also fully considered.

 
(This sounds like the claim that the emails sent by a number of us plus the <by now: 8071> signatures to the petition and [urhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=303202385890l]the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London"[/url] <with by now 6757 members> etc. were taken into account.  Smiley )
 
...
 
Quote:
we retain our distinctive profile in
specialist subjects not widely taught elsewhere in the UK, even within the Russell Group, including:
• Medieval languages including medieval Latin, Byzantine Greek, old English, Occitan
• Coverage of History from ancient to contemporary times, with enhanced teaching ranging
from Medieval and Byzantine history to the history of the modern world
Palaeography, manuscript studies, history of the book
• Jewish studies
• Music, including individual tuition in First Study

(bolding mine)
 
...
 
Quote:
Palaeography
The College has established a Working Group chaired by Emeritus Professor Dame Jinty Nelson FBA
and including external representation, to explore the future of Palaeography at King’s. It has not yet
concluded its work but has already indicated that it will be recommending a re-defined Chair of
Palaeography, incorporating Manuscript Studies, with a wide remit to provide leadership for
palaeographers in all disciplines. The Working Group will report no later than 30 June 2010. A
central element of the School’s final plans for Palaeography will be to expand significantly PhD
student numbers, as well as to offer more MA and undergraduate students within the School first-hand
acquaintance with manuscripts and a sense of the value of palaeographical expertise.

 
...
Quote:
Computational Linguistics
The members of the former computational linguistics group within the School of Arts and Humanities
are now fully integrated into the teaching, research, and administration of the Philosophy Department.
They are initiating a new MA in Language and Cognition focusing on the intersection of linguistics,
philosophy, and cognitive science, and they will significantly expand our undergraduate and
postgraduate teaching provision.

...
Quote:
Professor Jan Palmowski
Head of School
Arts & Humanities
18 May 2010

 


 
Found thanks to a posting by Mark Thakkar to the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London".
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Re: King's College Ldn: good news re palaeography
Reply #47 - 19.05.2010 at 09:45:57
 
Quote from hck on 19.05.2010 at 08:54:47:
This time: good news: Palaegraphy (and Computational Linguistics and some other fields) apparently are permitted to survive at King's College London (KCL): see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/07/46/40/ConsultationEnd1.pdf :...


 
For the philosophy positions see also http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2010/05/excellent-news-from-kings-college- london.html .
 


 
First seen by me thanks to Mark Thakar on facebook.
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Re: King's College Ldn: news re palaeography
Reply #48 - 27.05.2010 at 09:37:29
 
Quote from hck on 19.05.2010 at 09:45:57:
Quote from hck on 19.05.2010 at 08:54:47:
This time: good news: Palaegraphy (and Computational Linguistics and some other fields) apparently are permitted to survive at King's College London (KCL): see http://www.kcl.ac.uk/content/1/c6/07/46/40/ConsultationEnd1.pdf :...





 
Daniel DiCenso  wrote on 2010-05-22 on the wall of the facebook group "Save Palaeography At King's London":
Quote:
The press release is misleading. The threat of redundancy for the current Chair, David Ganz, remains ever in effect. Beyond David's own welfare, there are also no guarantees for the Chairship itself or for Palaeography. That King's should make the current Chair redundant under the promise that the Chairship will be "re...defined" and reposted is nothing more than a dirty trick.
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Bad news re palaeography at King's College London
Reply #49 - 08.06.2010 at 13:00:30
 
There seems to be bad/sad news concerning this: from what I get from two recent posts by Daniel DiCenso to the facebook group Save Palaeography At King's London (plus part of the comments to these) and Aidan Conti's comment to http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/public_sector/ar ticle7143626.ece : it seems that David Ganz has agreed to leave the chair for palaeography at KCL and that this chair may or may not cease to exist or may or may not be re-established under a slightly different name.
 
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« Last Edit: 09.06.2010 at 08:47:58 by 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)

...
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.

...
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.

...
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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