[KS] Alert! SOAS is sacking its specialist Korean/Japanese/Chineselibrarians
owen at saudade.plus.com
Tue Oct 4 05:39:05 EDT 2005
Thanks for bringing this up on the KS list Aidan.
As a student at SOAS perhaps I have slightly more freedom to talk about this than staff, although I can't offer too much more in the way of up-to-date information. I can say though, without reservation that everyone at SOAS apart from the management of the School and the library are appalled by this on many different levels. Both the treatment of the staff in question and the way this has been carried out have been very bad, not to mention the consequences for the future of Korean, Japanese and Chinese studies at SOAS and in the UK in general.
Protests so far have included the resignations of some 20 staff from their non-teaching positions, and a petition, which I believe included all or almost all research students in East Asia. From outside the School there have been numerous letters from academics and even diplomats I believe, but it seems that the School administration is refusing to listen to anyone and does not intend to back down.
There are, as I understand it, other possible forms of pressure in the offing. And a campaign website doesn't sound like a bad idea - I might suggest that to people concerned.
Anyway, all is not lost just yet and the management certainly seem to be worried by the reaction. As you said...
T'ujaengUn kyesok twenda.
SOAS PhD candidate, Korean History
----- Original Message -----
From: Afostercarter at aol.com
To: Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 3:38 PM
Subject: [KS] Alert! SOAS is sacking its specialist Korean/Japanese/Chineselibrarians
A sad and sordid thing is happening at the School of Oriental and African Studies
(SOAS), which prides itself as the UK's premier institution in this field.
In a nutshell, SOAS has summarily sacked its specialist librarians for Korean,
Japanese and Chinese. It intends to replace them with less qualified staff.
All this appears to have been done in a most underhand fashion.
I'm surprised that this scandal has not been more widely publicized.
As far as I know, no one has previously posted to this List about it.
Nor do I know of a single full up-to-date narrative, which would be useful
- a campaign website, perhaps? Despite the ongoing protests, I detect
some reticence. (It is even suggested that SOAS emails may be monitored!)
The short items from the Times Higher Education Supplement etc, below,
give some idea of the issues. Frank Shulman kindly forwarded much
correspondence to the BAKS list, which those who have access to that
can read. I append some of it herewith
Anyone who wishes to comment might care to contact either or both of:
* the Director of SOAS, Professor Colin Bundy (cb3 at soas.ac.uk)
* the Librarian, Anne Poulson (ap45 at soas.ac.uk).
The latest position as of today (Monday October 3) follows immediately.
As we used to say, a luta continua.
Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds University
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