Ten years old

Ten years ago today (16th April 2014) the first two posts appeared on Dissenter’s Blog. Who would have expected it to lasted so long? The anonymous originators of the Blog have long moved on to, one trusts, better things, along with many other Kingston staff, some through choice, some with little choice. For many on the academic staff, aside from family and other personal considerations, there are too many alternative employment fires out there to risk the leap from the Kingston frying pan. A university career has even worse prospects than a decade ago, especially for the arts and humanities as the moneymen and a hostile government get going with their philistine scythes. Philosophy is the latest discipline under threat at KU.

Needless to say, Kingston management has improved not one jot. Naturally the University is constrained by government underfunding, falling student numbers, especially international students, and now cuts to widening participation in HE, always a Kingston selling point. Yet the alacrity with which management pursues the numbers game means it is held in widespread contempt by the staff, not a good recipe for any well functioning institution, let alone a university.

Recently an old-school academic, Peter Higgs, died, a theoretical physicist famous for his predicted eponymous particle, since discovered, the Higgs Boson. He expressed doubt that he would be able to do such work or hold down a job in today’s paper-churning academic environment. Indeed, he learned that Edinburgh would have sacked him but for his prospect of winning a Nobel prize, which he eventually did. Such work could never be done at Kingston, nor Higgs believed, anywhere. Perhaps there are a few pockets in the system left but in general no university is prepared to accept the risks of supporting real research of this kind, preferring to keep the churn going with an eye on league tables.

So, there is still scope for a blog like Dissenters, the only place where you will find true academic freedom. If there are any current Kingston employees who feel they would like to contribute, please leave a comment below with a contactable email address (anonymous of course). As long as you do not use an email already used to comment, your message will not appear below.

Many thanks to all the readers who follow this blog. We trust it has offered amusement, solace and some enjoyment over the last decade. We also trust it continues to annoy the management and remind them all what academia should be about.

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1 Response to Ten years old

  1. As one of the first KU staffers to speak out publicly, at a very high price, I’d be pleased to contribute to this excellent blog. Please contact me with further details of how I can help.

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