Philosophy Threatened at Baker University


The administration of Baker University in Kansas has decided that in order to address the financial difficulties it is facing owing to the pandemic, its students should no longer be able to major in philosophy.

The administration has decided that four majors should be eliminated: philosophy, theatre, German, and French. Philosophy will retain a minor program. Programs were selected for elimination based on low enrollment. According to The Baker Orange, there is currently only one philosophy major.

Additionally, through the termination of contracts and offers of early retirement, the university has shed 18 faculty and staff positions.

The university received $5.5 million in federal aid to help it weather the pandemic, according to The Baker Orange.

A group of faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni have launced a petition objecting to the cuts and calling for greater transparency regarding the university’s financing and plans.

They write:

We question why Baker University is cutting academic programs when the following has been reported:

    • There is no mention of these actions in the Baker University 2020 Year in Review released on February 23, 2021.
    • Baker University has received $5.5 million in federal funding to offset pandemic-related revenue losses.
    • Baker University has raised more than $200,000 in private donations for the emergency COVID relief fund.
    • Baker University recently completed a successful $33 million Forever Orange campaign.
    • Baker University recently announced a new $17 million Baker Builds Champions campaign to upgrade our athletic facilities.
    • Baker University will no longer offer a major or minor in French or German, leaving Spanish as the only option for a world language major.
    • Meanwhile, Baker will fund a new Lacrosse team in 2021, along with 23 other athletic programs.

You can read the full petition here.

(via Trevor Hedberg)

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