Philosophy Under Threat at Adrian College

The Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Leadership at Adrian College in Michigan is one of three departments targeted for elimination by the administration of the university. 

According to a letter (below) from the Adrian College Association of Professors, seven faculty were laid off over the summer and eleven other faculty layoffs are planned.

The cuts were initially announced in a memo in February, 2020, and reiterated, with further details, in a memo on August 21st.

According to local media (see also here), a group of more than 1900 alumni from the small college have joined together in a Facebook group to protest the cuts. Said one former graduate of the college: “I would like to request the administration provide the specific data driving these decisions and an articulation of how, exactly, the eradication of these programs fits with Adrian’s stated mission as a liberal arts institution/ As an alumna of one of the targeted programs and a longtime supporter of the College, I am deeply concerned future students will be denied the curricular depth enjoyed by past generations of Adrian alumni.”

(via Jeff Engelhardt)

The Hedgehog Review
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Concerned grad student
Concerned grad student
3 years ago

It can’t hurt to send a letter of protest to the President and relevant VPs of Adrian College, as the elimination has yet to happen. President Docking can be contacted at: [email protected]. And VP Wright can be contacted at: [email protected]. Not only would the elimination of this department be a great disservice to the students and faculty of Adrian College (and totally out of step with its purported mission), but it would be a disservice to philosophy — which benefits from the contributions of the faculty at Adrian, and from the protections that are supposed to be afforded by academic tenure.

3 years ago

I emailed the president and vice president noted above, and received the following message:
Thank you for your email. We value your input.

You can be sure that no final decisions have been made regarding the academic future of these departments. We will be working in the months ahead to preserve as many as possible
So, I also encourage people to send non-aggressive but firm letters, especially ones noting the value of philosophy to students and the university as a whole.

James Spence
James Spence
3 years ago

These layoffs have been rescinded. There was a tremendous outpouring of support from alumni, and increasing media attention.
Thanks to everyone who may have sent a letter of support.

James Spence, Adrian College Philosophy

James Hanley
James Hanley
3 years ago

As a political science professor at Adrian, my department was not slated for closure, but was threatened by the loss of philosophy and history courses for our majors. Thank you for playing a role in publicizing this.

James Hanley