Please Help Us Save the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
TRANSCEND News, 6 Oct 2014
I am writing to ask you, who stood with us over our support for the Academic Boycott of Israel, to now write to the University of Sydney to help save the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in its present form.
There is an agenda within the University to demote us to a sub-section of another academic department. This would put our role in public advocacy for peace with justice at risk.
Now we have succeeded in fighting off the attempt by Shurat HaDin to have our stance on the Academic Boycott of Israel declared illegal, the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies is undergoing an internal review at the University of Sydney.
Our advocacy of the boycott, together with other issues of human rights and peace with justice, stems from the commitments in our Constitution:
The Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies shall pursue its objectives by as wide a variety of means as possible. These objectives include, but are not limited to:
3.1 The promotion of collaborative research on the conditions that affect conflict resolution and peace;
3.2 The fostering of a teaching program in Peace and Conflict Studies within the University of Sydney;
3.3 The development of an extra-curricular lecture and seminar program in peace studies for the University and the community at large, the organisation of conferences, and the arrangement of programs for visiting specialists in peace and conflict studies and research;
3.4 Liaison and cooperation with other centres and institutions working in the field of peace and conflict studies;
3.5 Advocacy of peace with justice in collaboration with other peace centres and agencies representing different community interests.
The terms of reference for the Review are as follows:
1. To evaluate the ongoing financial sustainability of CPACS in the context of past and potentially future student load and research income;
2. To evaluate the quality of teaching and supervision of students enrolled in the MPACS as well as HDR students;
3. To evaluate the research performance of the Centre in terms of research publications, research income and impact over the past 5 years;
4. To evaluate current administrative arrangements in the context of SSPS and Faculty administrative structures more generally;
5. To evaluate the overall strategic fit of the Centre with the strategic plans of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the University more generally.
6. To evaluate the Centre’s performance in relation to its commitment to advocacy for peace with justice in collaboration with other peace centres and agencies.
I am writing to ask you to make a submission under point 6, above.
Written submissions should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also copy to me: email@example.com
If you do not wish for your submission to be included in the final report which will be made public, your submission should be marked “confidential”. The deadline for written submissions is Friday, 17 October.
If you would like to meet with the review panel, please contact Jenny Ward in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org), by Friday, 17 October.
Your submission need not be long, or take long to write. But it should say something about the value created by our advocacy role, either of the boycott, or another issue, or of peace and justice issues in general.
Thanks and best wishes,
Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Jake Lynch, former BBC newsreader, political correspondent for Sky News and Sydney correspondent for the Independent, is Associate Professor of Peace Journalism and Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. He is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and the advisor for TRANSCEND Media Service-TMS. Lynch is the co-author, with Annabel McGoldrick, of Peace Journalism (Hawthorn Press, 2005), and his new book, Debates in Peace Journalism, has just been published by Sydney University Press and TUP – TRANSCEND University Press. He also co-authored with Johan Galtung and Annabel McGoldrick ‘Reporting Conflict-An Introduction to Peace Journalism,’ which TMS editor Antonio C. S. Rosa translated to Portuguese.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 6 Oct 2014.
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