Veja, a seguir, algumas das reações, os apelos e a mobilização do mundo bíblico para que isto não aconteça.
Até porque, segundo muitos, entre eles Mark Goodacre, Sheffield é um dos lugares mais interessantes para se estudar Bíblia em todo o Reino Unido!
Sobre as razões do fechamento? É só ler os textos completos.
Call for Action Department Closure, University of Sheffield, England - SBL
At a meeting on 7 October the Senate of the University of Sheffield was asked to approve the following (taken from the Senate papers): 1. that the 2009-10 admission to undergraduate programs involving Biblical Studies should be the last and that the Department should cease to function as a single entity; 2. that undergraduate programs involving Biblical Studies should be maintained for existing students, and that measures should be taken to ensure that they receive the high quality education and student experience which they have been promised; 3. that the Department's academic staff should be transferred to the departments in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities most suited to supporting their longer term careers; 4. that a Biblical Studies research center be developed with a view to providing a focus for postgraduate study and research. The research center would be the continuing point of contact and collaboration for academic staff irrespective of their new home departments, thus ensuring the continuation of scholarship in this area. At the meeting of the Senate, the vote on these proposals was postponed thanks to the intervention of the Sheffield University and College Union and the Union of Students, on the grounds that proper consultation had not taken place (...) It is understood that the decision has already been made to suspend undergraduate admissions for the coming academic year while the above proposals are being reconsidered. But suspension of the undergraduate program, in effect, will mean the end of Biblical Studies. The notion that there can be any postgraduate center or program without the existence of an independent Department of Biblical Studies is no doubt wishful thinking. It is a way of subtly dismantling the Department, since the Department and its reputation depends on its distinct identity and its vibrant research culture based on its outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
J Cheryl Exum on the Crisis at Sheffield - Jim West
"Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am writing you, in a personal capacity, to ask for your support in preventing the destruction of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield (...) I am writing to ask you to support the efforts of our students, alumni/ae, colleagues and friends to reverse what could be the end of an outstanding department by writing to the Vice-Chancellor to urge him not to dismantle the Department (1) by destroying an excellent undergraduate programme, which will inevitably be the effect of a suspension of admissions for the 20010-11 academic year and (2) by setting up a Biblical Studies ‘research centre’ that cannot succeed without an undergraduate programme and its contribution to the Department’s research culture, when one appointment of a senior scholar would enable the Department to maintain its strength in attracting postgraduates..." [J Cheryl Exum, Professor of Biblical Studies, Sheffield; Director, Sheffield Phoenix Press]
Sheffield Biblical Studies Department under threat - Mark Goodacre
Jim West broke the bad news, A Great Injustice is About to Occur, earlier today, that the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield is under threat of closure. The fullest and most recent news appears in a blog post by an officer in the Sheffield Students Union. What can we do? Join the Facebook group and get in touch with the university to express your opinion. The Sheffield Biblical Studies department has been a pioneer over the last generation, and is one of the most exciting places to study the Bible in the UK...