The administration at the State University of New York (SUNY) Potsdam decided earlier this year to discontinue its philosophy major, and has now moved to cutting faculty.
The SUNY Potsdam Philosophy page has been updated with the following:
It is too late for philosophy, or the liberal arts in any meaningful sense, at SUNY Potsdam. Our Provost has finally admitted that they plan to retrench faculty in discontinued programs. We were told, and I quote, “with the discontinuation of the program, the plan is to decrease the number of faculty by 1.” (Interim Provost Alan Hersker, 12/05/2023). So no hope here at Potsdam. But the disease spreads. SUNY Fredonia has released an eerily familiar plan to cut 13 programs. [see here]
Nonetheless, there is still hope for other public institutions of higher learning if we can spread the word. What is happening at SUNY Potsdam (and WVU and SUNY Fredonia, among others) is just a sign of the times to come for public higher education. The sign is not a good one. A tide of forces threaten the future of liberal arts education in the U.S., but they go unacknowledged, and hence unaddressed.
The creator of the page aims to develop it into a forum for the sharing of information about “the confluence of forces shaping public higher education.” Check it out here.