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The Problem of “Dirty Hands” in UK Universities

Conference: Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 March 2012, University of Brighton, UK

Following the News International phone-hacking scandal, questions have been raised about the propriety of accepting funding for Chairs such as the Rupert Murdoch Professorship in Language and Communication at Oxford University. But funding like this is ubiquitous in the universities, and it extends well beyond endowed professorships. Furthermore, private finance is going to play an increasingly prominent role in the wake of the Government White Paper on HE.

The Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics & Ethics (CAPPE) at the University of Brighton, in collaboration with the Times Higher Education, is holding a two-day interdisciplinary conference that seeks to address some of the background issues of principle that arise from the ways in which universities are financed. In particular: what are academics’ responsibilities in relation to the financing of “our” universities? Topics might include, among others:

·       funded chairs and centres
·       named buildings
·       the Research Excellence Framework
·       apparent grade inflation
·       commonality of standards
·       “Grayling College”
·       as university employees, our effectively doing the government’s bidding

We particularly welcome contributions reflecting personal experience of some of the contradictions that arise in these contexts.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Deborah Cameron, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication, Oxford University
Phil Baty, Deputy Editor, THE

Date: Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 March 2012

Venue: University of Brighton

Cost: £50 for academics; £25 for students and others. This does not include accommodation, about which participants will make their own arrangements. It does, however, include lunch, tea and coffee on both days.

To offer a paper; to offer to respond to a paper; or to register simply as a participant, please contact Professor Bob Brecher, Director, CAPPE at r.brecher@brighton.ac.uk. Places are limited, so early registration is advised.

The deadline for abstracts (300 words) is 9 January 2012.

Draft papers (20 mins) will need to be submitted by 9 March 2012, to give respondents (10 mins) time to prepare their response.

For further information about the centre and this conference: <http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/dirty-hands>

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