Sander L. Gilman is a distinguished professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as Professor of Psychiatry at Emory University, Atlanta. A cultural and literary historian, he is the author or editor of over ninety books and is well renowned in his field. Find below a copy of his letter in support of staff at Manchester.
I am quite aware that we now exist in an age of short term goals and economic models that reenforce them. As one who has had a decades long relationship with a number of departments at Manchester and for whom the earlier restructuring of the university was seen with great anticipation as creating a global university of the 21st century, I am more than saddened by the precipitous reversal of course signaled by the radical cuts to the humanities and arts. Not only are these vital for a functioning university no matter what the momentary state of student interest but, as we have recently seen at Yale, where history has become the most popular undergraduate subject (form being marginal just a few years ago) student interest also moves quickly and in directions that such short term planning can never recognize.
The closing of the German program is of especial concern to me as Manchester had one of the first and one of the most respected programs in the Anglophone world. The level of scholarship and teaching in this program is widely respected and the closing the program at the moment before Brexit can only be seen as essentially short sighted, as it is clear that German will increase in importance as a field of study after Brexit where specialist knowledge of the language and culture of the major player in a newly reconstituted EU will be of even greater importance for the UK.
Sander L. Gilman
Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Science;
Professor of Psychiatry
Atlanta GA USA