Florida Gulf Coast U. May Lose Philosophy


Florida governor Rick Scott and the Florida board of governors, is calling for universities in the state to “examine their academic offerings, seeing if they can cut smaller, costly programs or those generating graduates with low job prospects and earning potential,” a committee at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) has answered the call, proposing for elimination two master’s programs and eight bachelor’s programs, including the philosophy program.

News-Press.com reports:

Glenn Whitehouse, associate dean and interim chair of the Department of Communication and Philosophy, last week presented the committee data showing better SAT scores and improvement during college in critical thinking, problem solving and communication by arts and humanities students than those in professional degree programs. “The fact is that liberal arts and professional students have almost identical earnings over the course of a career,” Whitehouse told The News-Press. “Employers want not only job skills but those transferable skills. “They’re really part of a university education,” Whitehouse said of liberal arts programs. “They really do offer students viable paths to careers.”

Meanwhile, the university committee that made the recommendation to cut philosophy “is looking for more information on graduates’ job prospects, salaries and other information in making its review.” Recall the figures presented here by Robert Stufflebeam from the University of New Orleans. I imagine that the philosophy faculty at FGCU (there appear to be seven of them) would appreciate pointers to other relevant data and arguments for the value of philosophy.

(via Timothy Hsiao)

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