INSTITUTE OF CLASSICAL STUDIES
STRATEGIC PLAN – 2007-2012 This document is written against the background of continuing uncertainties over the future of the IClS library.
1. THE MISSION OF THE IClS 1.1 Mission statement The Institute of Classical Studies exists to serve as a national and international Institute of Advanced Study for the languages, literature, history, art, archaeology, and philosophy of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Specific aims are: to act as a centre for research in classical studies; to provide resources and facilities for the study of key disciplinary areas within classics for scholars from universities throughout the United Kingdom and the world; to support and encourage international contact between researchers; to encourage researchers of high status from abroad and from the UK to contribute to the research culture of the Institute; to enter into academic partnerships and initiatives with other institutes and academic organisations; to publicise and enhance the profile of London as an international centre of classical research; to encourage, facilitate and house collaboration between scholars of antiquity and its reception in the University of London, elsewhere in the UK and in universities and institutions abroad; to provide training for and support the development of postgraduate students (both research and taught) both locally and nationally; to enhance the understanding of the classical world among the wider public in the UK through lectures and other activities.
1.2 Achieving the mission With the support of public funding (the HEFCE), the various classical societies and the scholarly community in London, the UK and beyond, the IClS has created an unrivalled research resource, especially with respect to the library. It hosts the richest programme of seminars and conferences in classical studies anywhere in the world. It publishes its own scholarly journal and a prestigious series of monographs. The broad strategic aim is to build on these achievements, and to enhance further the role of the IClS as an enabler, supporter and co-ordinator of national and international research and training. The IClS, with its location, resource base and history, has the potential to act as a facilitator for London and national activities, with benefits in income from overheads and from charges for space and services built into bids, according to the new FEC principles. The potential for collaboration based on the location of the IClS is increased by the presence in London of significant public sector and charitable bodies with research interests/expertise compatible 1
with or complementary to ours and the developing culture of collaboration between HEIs and non-HEIs. Further resources still largely untapped by the IClS include the goodwill of private donors and charitable foundations, British and others (Greek in particular). We have direct access to a remarkable wealth of academic talent and a strong reserve of goodwill locally, nationally and internationally to complement the activities of the Director. To take advantage of these opportunities, we must ensure that we plan our strategies with the utmost care, seeking and receiving strong advice from our Strategic Planning Group. Wherever possible we need to collaborate effectively with other institutes within the School of Advanced Study and with other bodies in HE and other sectors locally, nationally and internationally.
2. RESEARCH The task facing us is to build on the traditional activities of the IClS and to open up fresh initiatives, in order to increase the volume and enhance the already high quality of research activity at the IClS and to diversify the role of the IClS nationally and locally. 2.1 Research projects 2.1.1 Overall strategy Of our long-established research projects only the Ancient Theatre Project continues at the IClS, and without external funding. Clearly, we need to replace the overhead income formerly derived from the Italian Epigraphy, Aphrodisias, and the AHRC Doctoral Research Training projects, all of whose funding has ceased. This will be no easy task, given that the Institute’s only academic member of staff is the Director (currently on secondment), and that both the Epigraphy and the Aphrodisias projects were led by members of staff from London colleges (UCL and KCL respectively). The Institute will have to persuade potential project leaders and their institutions of the value-added factor in housing their projects at the IClS, when the costs of doing so may well be higher. A more obvious way ahead is joint bids with other SAS institutes, and to that end the Director plans to submit a bid for a substantial grant from the AHRC for a project on rhetoric, in conjunction with the Institute for English Studies. Despite the difficulties, in order to maximise the volume of high quality research activity, the IClS will seek to attract new external research projects, consistent with constraints of space (see under 7 below). 2.1.2 Specific projects AHRC Doctoral Research Training This project has now ended and the report submitted to the AHRC. Unfortunately, no further funding is available from the AHRC to continue the project. Aims To maintain the project database, subject to staff availability. 2
To continue to organise research training courses and events in London and elsewhere, subject to staff availability and as funds allow.
Ancient Theatre The archive of photographs relating to the ancient theatre is housed in a designated room. Work continues in Australia on both electronic and conventional publications based on this material, but the lack of funding at the UK end means that the project here is largely dormant. The survey of material by Dr Williams commissioned last year was not completed, due to Dr Williams’ appointment to a full-time lectureship at Durham. The problem of the age profile of the major participants naturally worsens year on year, though the Director has taken steps to inject fresh blood into the project by recruiting to the team a senior academic from Heidelberg, Professor William Furley, the former SAS S.T. Lee Research Fellow. Negotiations continue over the future shape of the project, with input from Professor Handley at Cambridge and Professor Green at Sydney, but progress is slow; Professor Furley hopes to come to the Institute in March to discuss matters. A decision will have to be taken soon by the IClS Director on what space is allocated to the project on the return to the South Block if no funding is forthcoming: this may help to galvanise members of the project into taking positive action. Aims To initiate, on the basis of the discussions mentioned above, follow-up projects in the field of ancient theatre studies. To place the results of the project on the internet via the IClS webpage and SAS-Space erepository, subject to progress by the team in Australia.
Epigraphy Project The IClS still awaits the submission of the final typescript for publication as a Supplement volume in 2007.
Michael Ventris Archive Project The additional archive material noted in last year’s document is still to be catalogued, due to the appointment of the RA as the Institute’s secretary. The first version of the catalogue has been place in the SAS-Space e-repository. Aim To reconsider with the project’s RA the best approach to updating the computerised catalogue, with a view to placing the new material in the SAS-Space e-repository during 2007/8. 3
2.2 Academic programme A full range of research seminars covers all areas of the discipline: Greek and Latin language and literature, ancient philosophy, ancient history, Mycenaean studies, classical archaeology, classical art history, and Byzantine studies. Special conferences and workshops are organised, either by London-based scholars or by scholars from elsewhere in the UK or beyond. The seminar programmes continue, for practical reasons, to be organised by scholars in London, though the Director remains of the opinion that this need not always be the case (the external proposal made last year did not, in the event, come to fruition). The outcome of current negotiations may have a significant bearing on this matter. The academic programme has in the past generated high-quality publications, and our aim is further to integrate this activity with publications; this is addressed under 2.3 below. The Institute also has a number of public lectures, including an annual Webster Lecture in honour of its founder and a biannual A.D. Trendall Lecture, in conjunction with the Australian Academy. The Sheila Kassman Memorial Address is delivered annually by a senior scholar whose research interests lie in the fields of ancient philosophy or ancient medicine. The Institute and the British School at Athens host a joint annual Spring lecture delivered by a visiting archaeologist. The IClS is continuing to explore ways of developing its programme of seminars and public lectures, in particular through lectures sponsored by external bodies, and one such series of lectures, in conjunction with UCL, is under discussion. The Director has also had preliminary discussions relating to a seminar series conducted via electronic conferencing facilities. Aims To maintain the range and quality of the research seminar programme. To investigate possibilities of drawing more scholars from outside London into the organisation of seminar activities based at the IClS. To integrate the seminar programme more fully with the publications programme (see under 2.3 below). To seek external funds to support a high profile lecture or lecture series attracting distinguished scholars. To investigate further the possibility of the IClS acting as the host for seminars via electronic conferencing.
2.3 Publications 2.3.1 Activity As well as enriching the academic activities and enhancing the profile of the IClS, the publication arm has the strong potential to contribute significantly to IClS income through 4
increased sales. It has traditionally contributed in no small way to library exchanges, which allow the library to acquire periodicals at marginal cost, but this activity needs to be reconsidered in the light of the topslicing of the library element of the IClS grant to the ULRLS. The Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies publishes research papers from scholars both in this country and from overseas. Several monographs in the series Supplements to the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, which have earned a deserved international reputation, are published each year. Both BICS and the Supplements are refereed. The academic range of the Supplements has grown with time and it is our intention that the monograph portfolio should keep pace with new and exciting developments in the discipline. Though BICS is a respected journal, it could achieve more; ideally it should aspire to compete with Classical Quarterly. Steps have been taken to generate more publications from papers delivered to our seminar series, but it will take time for this policy to bear real fruit. Publications are advertised on the Institute's website and orders may be placed by email. The more traditional means of catalogues, book launches, and special exhibitions at conferences are also used to promote sales. The Director and Managing Editor have investigated the possibility of partnerships with booksellers to promote our publications worldwide, but these discussions have been placed on hold pending reorganisation of publications activity within SAS. A key component contributing to our future financial health will be to maintain the increase in publications activity achieved in 2004-05 and to a lesser extent in 2005-06; and the impending RAE deadline is a positive pressure in that sense. 2.3.2 Resourcing A large obstacle to increasing the volume of publication activity is the level of clerical and technical support available to the Managing Editor, who himself is only employed on a parttime basis. This issue cannot be settled until the future shapes of the Institute and of the SAS administration have been finalised. In the interim, a half-time assistant was appointed for this year, who has dealt with the clerical side, copy-editing work has been contracted out, and the Director has continued to offer the Editor support in proof-reading. The publications activity is supported by an active Publications Committee with a wide range of expertise. 2.3.3 Accounting and planning The Director and Managing Editor are agreed in believing that the figures produced by the University do not in any way reflect the significant contribution made by our publishing activity to the Institute’s accounts. This issue has been raised with the Finance Office. We await the implementation of the new financial system, which we hope will address the problem and give a more accurate picture of the true situation. Aims To continue to enhance the profile of the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. To continue to develop the range of Supplements to ensure that the full scope of the Institute's widening research activities is represented in our publications, and to increase the number of 5
volumes published. To reconsider the free provision of Institute publications to the library. To strengthen further the link between conference/seminar and publication activity. In the medium term, to improve the clerical and technical support for the Managing Editor.
2.4 Fellowships Research fellowships offer a means to enhance prestige, increase the academic presence in the Institute, and develop links with other HE institutions nationally and internationally. There are at present eight Senior Research Fellows, of whom five are attached to the Ancient Theatre Project: Professor J. R. Green (Sydney), Professor E. W. Handley (Cambridge), Professor E. J. Jory (Western Australia), Professor A. Seeberg (Oslo), and Professor W. Furley (Heidelberg). Professor R. R. K. Sorabji (KCL and Oxford) is the Senior Research Fellow attached to the Ancient Commentators Project, which is now based at KCL. Professor Charlotte Roueché (KCL) is Curator of the Papyrology/Epigraphy Room. Professor Michael Crawford (formerly of UCL) is the Senior Research Fellow who has directed the Italic Epigraphy Project, now nearing completion. Visiting Fellows from this country and overseas are appointed from time to time for periods of between three and twelve months, but the relocation of the Institute, such that the rooms available are not within the confines of the library as before, has affected this activity. At present the Institute also has six Associate Fellows who have office space and research facilities (but again these are not ideal, since they are outside the library). We have put on hold the possibility of funding postdoctoral fellowships, until the financial basis of the IClS is more firmly established. Aim To explore avenues of funding to expand the range of fellowships, but on hold for the time being.
3. TEACHING AND LEARNING 3.1 Supporting and developing postgraduates Through its conference and seminar activity the IClS has a long and distinguished tradition of supporting the development of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. For example, the London postgraduates organise their own weekly seminar in term time, with the support of the IClS. This role of supporting the next generation of scholars will continue to be central to the mission and activities of the IClS. The Institute has no registered students but hosts a number of the courses on the various London federal MAs. The Director ran a seminar on Greek palaeography in autumn 2006, in 6
conjunction with UCL, which formed part of the students’ training in that area. We were disappointed that the AHRC did not offer continuing funding for the project on postgraduate research training. Stemming from that project a summer school on reception studies is planned for 2007, and we hope to revisit the issue of the Institute running training courses when current uncertainties over the future of the IClS library have been resolved. Aim To continue to explore opportunities for the IClS to play a part in national postgraduate research training, in collaboration with the Council of University Classical Departments and the HEA subject centre. 3.2 Reaching a wider audience Popular interest generally in the past and particularly in the history and culture of the ancient world has never been greater. The location of the IClS makes it an ideal venue for highprofile activities which both serve the academic community and make current research more widely available to a popular audience. Such activities already take place, and much of the public lecture activity is accessible to a wider audience. The website plays a key role in advertising these activities more widely. Aim To develop a range of public events which will increase the visibility of the IClS and serve as a platform for fundraising.
4. FINANCE The IClS is at present dependent on a very narrow income base, which has been considerably further narrowed by the topslicing of the library element of the HEFCE funding to the ULRLS. The current turnover means that the Institute has no headroom to develop and is too exposed to short-term financial trends and problems. Incremental drift continues to push up staffing costs and University of London central costs have risen considerably ahead of income. There is no simple solution to our problems, but there are a number of areas where initiatives can be made, most notably through increased publication output and by generating FEC overheads from AHRC-funded research and from IClS-based research projects. The relative success of the recent Winnington-Ingram appeal indicates that the IClS could do more to generate external income from fund-raising, but this will be hampered if the library is not perceived by potential donors to be a core activity of the Institute, or worse if the library is broken in two. The accounting system at present does not represent relative income and costs with sufficient clarity. We hope that the new finance system will address this issue successfully. Aims To increase the publications revenue by greater production and more proactive marketing. 7
When the future shape of the Institute is settled, to seek research and other grants in collaboration with colleagues in London and nationally. When the future shape of the Institute is settled, to explore opportunities for other fundraising activities, including grants and donations from charitable and corporate bodies.
5. MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION Yet another review of the management and administration of the Institute will need to be carried out, in light of the resolution of current difficulties. Aim To review the new IClS committee structure during 2007, in light of the resolution of current difficulties.
6. STAFFING The precarious finances of the Institute mean that it remains seriously understaffed: the Director is full-time on secondment; the secretary works four-fifths time; the publications assistant works half-time and has a half-time contract as a researcher; the Managing Editor is two-fifths time. Only the Managing Editor currently has a permanent contract. An attempt has been made to address the problems reported last year by the appointment of a half-time publications assistant. This has taken away the necessity to buy in help for the dispatch of new publications, but it does not address the issue of copy-editing and proofreading, which is done largely by the Managing Editor and Director, as well as by bought-in professional help. If the publications operation is to expand and thrive, a full-time or near full-time appointment will need to be made – the SAS centralising initiative currently under discussion is unlikely to solve the problems faced by the Institute, as a person with Greek and Latin, in addition to editing skills, is required to take some of the editing burden off the Managing Editor and Director. The Director recognises that dedicated clerical support for the Director is of less urgency, but is concerned that the Institute has no full-time secretary/administrator. The outcome of the SAS review of administration may help in this respect. Aim In the short to medium term, to generate the funds needed for a suitable appointment in publications.
7. SPACE 8
The expectation last year that the temporary move into the North Block would last until Easter 2007 now seems wildly optimistic. The Institute continues to cope with an arrangement that is far from adequate, given the separation of its offices onto two floors without any easy connection between them. The research rooms which used to be within the library are now as equally remote from the library as the Institute’s secretary is from the Director: the secretary and research rooms are on the third floor of the north side, the Director and publications offices are within the library on the second floor of the south side. No firm plans for the future layout of the Institute's research rooms on its return to the South Block can be made until the current difficulties over the library are resolved.
8. INFORMATION SERVICES 8.1 Library The Joint Library of the Institute and of the Hellenic and Roman Societies, which is now run by the ULRLS, is regarded internationally as a major research collection. What was unthinkable until recently, the break-up of the library if the Societies take their books elsewhere, is currently a very real possibility.
8.2 Computing The Institute provides its fellows with basic computing facilities, i.e. word-processing and access to the Internet. Future academic computing facilities again depend on the outcome of current discussions over the library, and are now outwith the responsibility of the Institute.
9. PUBLICITY 9.1 Website The website is a crucial resource in publicising the activities of the Institute, in particular via our Meetings List. The website underpins our publications marketing (see under 2.3.1 above), and the results of our AHRC project will also be placed on the web. The IClS site is linked to the new SAS website. Aims To optimise the use of the website for profile, information, publicity, and publications.
9.2 Meetings List The Meetings List, whose production and distribution costs were prohibitive, is now published on the web, with hard copies available on request. It is regularly updated. Flyers are produced for the lecture, seminar, conferences and special events programmes, and for individual events. MJE 15 January 2007 9