You may have picked up that another Classics department is under threat, this time the department at University College Cork. The suggestion seems to be that the Department should move into the School of History, but the current plans seem to suggest this would lead to a considerable loss of autonomy, and thus language provision would be put seriously at risk. What’s more, as Jeroen Wijnendaele informs us on the Classics list, UCC is the only classics department in the south of Ireland, meaning that any loss of provision would have serious access consequences.
The Classical Association of Ireland have posted a suggestion for a template letter on their Facebook account, along with details of how to get in touch with UCC’s president, Dr. Michael Murphey. I ask that you consider doing so.
Update, 1st October: there is now also a petition to sign.
In other sad news, Twitter reports that Robinson College, Cambridge, are planning to stop offering places to students who wish to study classics. Given that I believe all the other colleges still offer classics places, this isn’t quite the same as a threat, but it’s still an upsetting move from one of the newer colleges. It sounds as if there’s still room for negotiation and manoeuvre, and nobody is yet coordinating anything so far as I can tell, but watch this space.
Update, 30th September: I can offer more cheering news about Robinson College, having e-mailed over the weekend. It is true that classics is not being offered this year, but apparently this is due to an early retirement that was finalised late enough for the College not to be sure it would have adequate provision for in-coming first years. I am informed that this is a temporary situation and that the College is in discussion with the Faculty about how to best resolve the situation. So cautiously good news, but worth keeping an eye on over the coming year.