Humanities academics unbending in opposition to the Ramsay Western Civ Centre
The HASS faculty board of studies has voted against the revised curriculum proposed for Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation degrees. This follows an April vote against the original study-plan. According to the campus branch of the National Tertiary Education Union, staff are concerned at implications in proposed Ramsay funding for academic freedom and university autonomy. They also dislike the Ramsay “great books approach,” which, it is said, “promotes an outmoded and uncontested view of ‘western civilisation’ and arguably seeks to promote a neo-conservative political agenda in universities.”
According to NTEU branch president Andrew Bonnell, “this second rejection by the HASS Board of Studies surely means that if Uni Queensland management intend to honour their commitment to proper academic governance, they have no option but to drop the Ramsay proposal.”
However last night the university responded that the HASS board of studies, “is advisory to the executive dean” and not an approval body. A spokesperson added, “feedback from the meeting will be considered carefully as the program progresses through its standard governance process.”
The university’s student union has called an open meeting next week to discuss Ramsay.