Monday, May 19, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust...

From Sabrina Jamil, via the Florida Student Philosophy Blog

President Bernie Machen has proposed that the University of Florida's Ph.D program in Philosophy, along with two other Arts/Letters Ph.D. programs, be eliminated in the face of the State of Florida's budget reductions. In truth, we agree with Dr. Ariew of USF when he states "I don't have all the figures, but Florida's canceling its Ph.D. in Philosophy will not result in great savings; it is a short-sighted and stupid move. Certainly it will result in a black mark for the "flagship" University in Florida." This decision is not only bad for the University of Florida, but sets a dangerous precedent that treats Philosophy programs as expendable or optional, rather than as a crucial component of any institution claiming to teach Liberal Arts. Sign this petition to show President Machen that this decision is not being taken lightly by the academic community of philosophers. We the undersigned request that President Machen keep the structure of the Philosophy Ph.D. program at the University of Florida intact.

signature goal: 5,000

You can sign the petition here


Anonymous said...

Philosophy is always the first to go! Engineering/Business programs produce wealthy alumni. Philosophy PhDs are usually scraping by with just enough to feed themselves.

Josh said...

It is hard to say why they viewed philosophy as the expendable program.

However, just recently a revised version of the proposal has passed.

Although the Ph.D. program was not eliminated, admissions to the program are frozen until at least 2012. There is a 60 day window for additional changes to be made.

This is disappointing, though not a total loss. The program hasn't been eliminated, but a PhD progam without any graduate students is just as bad. It is unclear if they are retaining the MA program.

The big question is how much money is the university saving by cutting this program? Unlike engineering and the hard sciences, philosophy classes only require a professor, a comfortable place to sit, and a primary text.

Of course, philosophy professors are the most likely to produce radical thinkers - both within the student body and among fellow faculty.