This in from a reader who wishes to be anonymous:
Following the major restructure of the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences in 2010, a final move to disestablish what was left of the humanities has been proposed. Brought to you by the same team that conducted the “major curriculum change” of the School of Music, the proposed plan states that it aims to:
“1. Establish a School of Languages and Literature, bringing together the current School of Language Studies and the School of Cultural Inquiry, excluding Art History. The School of Cultural Inquiry will be disestablished.
2. Strengthen Art History and Art Theory through the integration of Art History from the School of Cultural Inquiry into the School of Art.
3. Disestablish IHuG [the Interdisciplinary Humanities Group] through the co-location of research centres wherever possible with AOUs to provide a strong sustainable base and enhance research capacity within the AOU, while recognising and preserving the governance and financial structure of the centres to ensure that they play an important interdisciplinary role across RSHA,the College and the University.
4. Make more visible the emerging strength in Heritage and Museum Studies and locate it within the School of Archaeology and Anthropology which would be renamed the School of Archaeology, Anthropology, Heritage and Museum Studies.”
The proposal also concedes that:
“It is foreseeable that the impact of this proposal will involve:
• Disestablishment of leadership positions but no loss of academic staffing;
• A change to work practices with professional staff being relocated to support the new organisation structure and current separate academic groups interacting more closely within larger organisational units;
• Possible impact on conditions, including change that would be likely to lead to changed responsibility levels.”
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The proposal can be viewed in full here: http://rsha.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/2013/rsha-restructure-change-management-proposal-2013.pdf
Or see http://rsha.anu.edu.au/rsha-engagement/rsha-change-proposal for more information.
While the restructure might make “sense” relative to the drastic changes already made to the Humanities at ANU (such as eliminating the Drama and Film Studies majors), the move threatens the viability of many other majors such as Gender Studies continuing in the future as they become subsumed under different subject areas. As stated, the changes also entail a foreseeable impact on staff in terms of responsibility, workload and ability to deliver courses in vastly different disciplines.
If you are concerned about the proposal, submissions are due to the Project Team by 5pm this Friday 2nd August 2013 at firstname.lastname@example.org