Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The future of academic diversity

Letter sent to: Paul Bowler (pbowler@glos.ac.uk) and Patricia Broadfoot (vc@glos.ac.uk)

Dear Sir,
This letter is triggered by the news that Lloyd Pietersen, Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator in New Testament Studies in the Department of Humanities, has been made redundant.
The University of Gloucestershire has a strong tradition of research in the field of Biblical Studies and Theology, and a strategic reduction of this facility in the interests of short term financial gain is in my opinion a retrograde step which will only serve to harm the national and international standing of your University in the long term.
The decision to dismiss Dr Pietersen sends a signal far beyond the immediate discipline of Theology, as it indicates that the University of Gloucestershire is now an institution which is prepared to lose world-class scholars regardless of their contribution in terms of research, teaching and supervision. This instability will inevitably cause those who might consider studying with yourselves to reconsider that decision and go elsewhere. It may appear that a minority department such as Theology and Biblical Studies is an obvious 'soft target' for cost saving, but the reduction of academic diversity which this entails is a decision which will be detrimental to the University as a whole.
With this in mind, I would strongly urge you to reconsider your decision, and to follow the recent example of Sheffield University and instead recommit yourselves to once again positioning the University of Gloucestershire as a class-leading centre for study and research in Theology and Biblical Studies.
Yours faithfully,

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