Tim Gowers has once again done the university community a great service by using his blog to publicize the impending decimation of the University of Leicester’s mathematics department. More like a double decimation: of the department’s 23 full-time staff, 5 are slated to lose their jobs, with the research staff shrinking by close to 30%. Rather than repeat the details, which you can find presented with Gowers’s customary clarity on his blog, I am using this space to encourage readers and their friends to sign the protest petition. The petition already has over 2500 signatures, many of them alerted to the situation (as I was) by reading Gowers’s account.
Leicester is being cut back across the board, but the cuts in mathematics are particularly severe. For a crash course in the neo-liberal conception of the university, you can read the relevant chapter in Wendy Brown’s Undoing the Demos, featured in an entry on this blog last year.
This blog has been suspended but it will be revived occasionally for urgent news items like this one.
UPDATE: Vladimir Tasić points out that this sort of thing is happening with increasing frequency in Canada as well.