Philosophy Threatened at the University of Tulsa (updated)

A plan to reorganize the University of Tulsa will eliminate its Department of Philosophy and Religion, and with it, the possibility of students majoring in philosophy.

The plan, announced yesterday, proposes “a shift from disciplinary departments to interdisciplinary divisions” and the creation of a “consolidated ‘professional super college'”. Despite a $1.1 billion endowment, Provost Janet Levit called the proposed changes a “lifeline” for the university.


The Department of Philosophy and Religion, along with a number of other departments, will be folded into a new “Division of Humanities.”

Up to now, the Department had offered completely separate major programs in philosophy and in religion, as well as separate minors. Under the new proposal, these majors and minors will be eliminated. The only remaining related course of study for students will be a minor in “philosophy and religion.” Texts and charts here describe the changes.

Regarding whether the proposed changes would affect faculty employment, the Provost has stated that “we are not eliminating tenured or tenure-track faculty positions, and we stand by our current contractual obligations to our resident contract faculty.”

The changes are part of a plan to convert the University of Tulsa into a “STEM-heavy” institution “with a professional, practical focus.”

Said Provost Levit, “This is who we are.”

UPDATE (4/14/19): Jonathan Weisberg, in the comments, draws our attention to this helpful Twitter thread from Matthew Dean Hindman, a professor of political science at the University of Tulsa (click on the tweet below to see the whole thread):

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