Philosophy at University of Alaska, Fairbanks Is “Terminated”

There will be no more philosophy program at the University of Alaska, according to an article in the UAF Sun Star.

In an e-mail sent to philosophy students, Eduardo Wilner, department chair of philosophy and humanities said the program “is terminated.” Wilner says there will be a “teach-out period, meaning that all majors will be given time to finish in a ‘timely-fashion.’” Wilner was told by the provost’s office this means “within four years from the original day of enrollment.” The e-mail said that philosophy might “survive in some form or another.” A suggested solution was consolidating it with another program. Administration would prefer to merge it with the UAA philosophy program, according to Wilner. However, he said these solutions are “hypothetical, at best.”

The University is aiming to save $3 million. The Philosophy Department was likely targeted owing to its low number of majors:

As of fall 2014, philosophy had eight degree seeking students, according to university data. The average graduating philosophy class in the past decade: three.

According to the article, the department has one tenured associate professor, one professor emeritus, one professor on term appointment, and one adjunct.

Thanks to Fritz Allhoff for the heads-up about this. He notes that the University of Alaska at Anchorage, 350 miles south, has the only remaining philosophy department in the state.

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9 years ago

Merging with UAA? No worries. I’ve made that 7 hour drive many times. Piece of cake.
It would be akin to University of Massachusetts Amherst closing their department but saying “Well we might try to merge departments so you could take philosophy at the University of Maryland”
Also of note, UAF is not some little insignificant minor state school, it the state’s major research University that attends PAC-12 academic meetings.

Jennifer Frey
Jennifer Frey
9 years ago

This ought to terrify us all.