Toolkit for departments in difficulties
The UK HE sector is in a volatile state, and situations can change quickly. If your department is being targeted for cuts or redundancies, or under threat in another way (restructuring, limitations on the courses or teaching you can run), do get in touch with CUCD (contact the Chair in the first instance) for help and support.
We hold a list of mentors who have been through similar processes and difficulties in the past, and have volunteered to advise and support colleagues. This will be particularly relevant to heads of department or subject leads, but we recognise there can be different positions within a department on situations, and other members of the department may also need help and support.
Letter-writing campaigns or media/ social media pressure can be effective, where a particular subject area is being unfairly targeted. With more general programs of redundancies, or those deriving from reduced student numbers, high staff-student ratio, such campaigns tend not to be effective. Sometimes letters of support function mainly as expressions of solidarity, and these are also valuable. We can advise on campaigns and write letters of support.
Prevention is not always possible, but the following strategies are worth bearing in mind:
- Don’t over expand. Where possible, manage university expectations.
- Try to have friends in high places. Cultivate links with management.
- Build cross-disciplinary collaborations, to raise awareness of the value of the discipline in other areas, especially other faculties.
- Make the most of impact funding and opportunities to keep the subject area visible and advocate for its importance.
- Keep working on alumni profiles and getting current students to advocate for the subject area and your department.
Existing toolkits for other disciplines, which are almost entirely relevant to Classics too:
English Association: https://englishassociation.ac.uk/toolkit-for-university-heads-of-department/
Royal Historical Society: https://blog.royalhistsoc.org/2022/05/24/supporting-history-toolkit/
American Philosophical Association: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.apaonline.org/resource/resmgr/docs/department_advocacy_toolkit.pdf
Recent reports on Arts and Humanities state of play/employability
Current state of the sector and why crisis is not the best narrative: https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2023/03/30/the-humanities-in-the-uk-today-whats-going-on/
Value of arts and humanities: https://www.fenews.co.uk/education/humanities-education-is-a-uk-strength/
Classics-specific resources on employability:
Recent advice from careers website: https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-advice/what-can-i-do-with-my-degree/classics
Barrow, R., Behr, C., Deacy, S., Mchardy, F., & Tempest, K. (2010). Embedding Employability into a Classics Curriculum: The Classical Civilisation Bachelor of Arts programme at Roehampton University. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 9(3), 339-352. (https://doi.org/10.1177/1474022209350294)
CUCD Bulletin article on Classics and careers: https://cucd.blogs.sas.ac.uk/files/2018/12/CHRISTOFOROU-TEMPEST-Classics-after-the-Classroom.pdf
What have the Classics ever done for me? Classical Association video: https://vimeo.com/503385013
Holmes-Henderson, A. and Tempest, K. (2018) ‘Classics and twenty-first-century skills’ in A. Holmes-Henderson, S. Hunt and M. Musié (eds.) Forward with Classics. Classical languages in schools and communities, Bloomsbury https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/forward-with-classics-classical-languages-in-schools-and-communities/ch16-classics-and-twenty-first-century-skills
Recent Arts and Humanities resources:
HEPI report on state of play in Humanities: The Humanities in the UK Today: What’s going on?
The Arts and Humanities website has a list of current toolkits: https://www.artsandhumanitiesalliance.org/
US focused Study the Humanities Toolkit https://www.studythehumanities.org/toolkit