The University of Wollongong has fast-tracked a degree funded by the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, to start next year.
The BA Western Civ, “will take students on a chronologically ordered, philosophical adventure through the major periods and epochs of intellectual and artistic change in the west. At each stage of their journey, students will engage –first-hand– with exemplary masterpieces of Western thought, art and architecture (and) bring them into dialogue with the some of the greatest exemplars of non-Western traditions. Along the way, they will cultivate open, critical minds, becoming confident participants in the great conversation – one that will bring them to question what they may not have questioned before.”
The curriculum was approved last month by Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings, under the university’s, “well established Fast Track approval process.” UoW management says this is used an average five times a year and was invoked “to meet the tight schedule required to take enrolments for Autumn Session 2020.”
Some ten FTE academic staff funded by the Ramsay Centre will deliver core content and provide academic management, with nine to be hired over 2019-21. They will be “encouraged” to consult a 16-member advisory board member, “for advice,” “on readings, appropriate teaching styles and curricular activities.”
The board includes US and European scholars, Ramsay Centre CEO Simon Haines and Neil Sinhababu, a philosopher at the National University of Singapore. UoW’s PVC Inclusion and Outreach Paul Chandler, is the university’s representative on the advisory board.
The announcement caught off-guard opponents of the Ramsay relationship, with a National Tertiary Education Union petition still circulating last night. Calling on Professor Wellings, “to tear up the secret deal with the Ramsay Centre.”
It isn’t secret any longer.