The University of London’s School of Advanced Study has stepped back from plans to close the Institute of English Studies this summer.
In a letter sent to the IES advisory board on 15 May, Roger Kain – dean and chief executive of the SAS – announced proposals to merge the “academic activity of the Institute of English Studies into the Institute of Historical Research…and into the Institute of Modern Languages Research”. The news was greeted with considerable dismay by academics, who set up a Save the IES steering group on 17 May.
Now, in a further letter dated 23 May, Professor Kain has written again to the academic community saying that after a meeting of the university’s board of trustees, the vice-chancellor and he had “concluded that we need time to explore a wider range of options regarding the structure of SAS”.
Though still needing to “work towards achieving long-term financial sustainability”, they were “now able to approach this on a more extended timescale”.
“This will enable us to engage more fully with all relevant stakeholders, identify options and work them through, beginning the discussion process with the meetings of the SAS board and the strategic advisory group next month and continuing into next academic year,” he writes.
“In the meantime, we will continue to run the Institute of English Studies…in [its] current form.”