Inside Higher Ed today discusses a report by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on faculty cuts at the College of St. Rose (previously). A number of faculty were let go, leading the AAUP to declare that at the College, tenure is “virtually meaningless.” Among the programs affected is philosophy:
This is not the first time a philosophy major has been on the chopping block, and with it being increasingly dismissed by politicians (despite admirable pushback from many philosophers), we can probably safely predict that it won’t be the last. If your major or department is threatened, what, if anything, can be done?
For starters, get attention. We’ve seen, recently, how philosophers across different institutions can work together to support one another, once the information is made public. So if there is trouble coming your way at your school, don’t wait until it is too late to let the rest of us know. Send me an email about it. A post here at Daily Nous about your situation will reach several thousand philosophers, some of whom may have useful ideas or suggestions, or personal reasons for being motivated to help.
Also, contact the American Philosophical Association (APA), which, Executive Director Amy Ferrer reports, “privately sent letters to a number of institutions in response to proposed cuts to or closures of philosophy departments.”
Some people might be reluctant to write in because they think that they or their institutions are not in some way or another sufficiently important. Yes, there is elitism in our profession, but it does not seem to come into play in responses to the kind of situation. So forget that, and let your fellow philosophers help you, if we can.