No More Philosophy at Liberty University

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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
On my Twitter feed, April Ponnuru (wife of the prominent conservative writer, Ramesh Ponnuru) announced that Liberty University has laid off the ENTIRE philosophy department. She also states, interestingly, that there's no faculty tenure at LU. So, laying them all off was easy to do, I suppose.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. strikes again.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Wow! That includes 7 professors according to their website's philosophy department page, including Gary Habermas.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I know nothing about the financial situation of this particular school, but in the current crisis I think there's little doubt that many colleges are going to have to get much leaner just to keep operating. And when cuts have to be made, they will generally be made to those programs that are least marketable. That will not necessarily be a sign that the administration holds those programs in low esteem, but rather a matter of protecting as much of the institution as possible in hard times. The market always drives the product, but this is especially so in an economic downturn. (Again, I know nothing about this particular situation.)
 

Harrison

Puritan Board Freshman
On my Twitter feed, April Ponnuru (wife of the prominent conservative writer, Ramesh Ponnuru) announced that Liberty University has laid off the ENTIRE philosophy department. She also states, interestingly, that there's no faculty tenure at LU. So, laying them all off was easy to do, I suppose.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. strikes again.
Do you know if the lay-off was permanent, or perhaps a furlough?
 

W.C. Dean

Puritan Board Sophomore
I know many that have graduated from Liberty and I would agree with Jack that they most likely cut the program due to this current climate. From what I know of it, I am not surprised philosophy was not on the higher end of their priorities. Not that it is a low-quality school but it also is not a scholarly institution.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I know nothing about the financial situation of this particular school, but in the current crisis I think there's little doubt that many colleges are going to have to get much leaner just to keep operating. And when cuts have to be made, they will generally be made to those programs that are least marketable. That will not necessarily be a sign that the administration holds those programs in low esteem, but rather a matter of protecting as much of the institution as possible in hard times. The market always drives the product, but this is especially so in an economic downturn. (Again, I know nothing about this particular situation.)

In line with this, a friend who is a philosophy professor at LU publicly posted on Facebook recently:

Many people have asked about what’s happening to LU’s Department of Philosophy. Here’s what I know right now:
*We were told months ago that, due to low enrollment, the BA in Philosophy will be phased out.
*Students who want to study philosophy in the future will have several options:
*They can make philosophy one of their areas of study in the Interdisciplinary Studies program.
*They can minor in philosophy. The philosophy minor has recently been updated, too: https://www.liberty.edu/registrar/wp-content/uploads/sites/119/2020/03/PHI-R.pdf
*They can minor in ethics.
*Sufficient courses will continue to be offered to enable any current philosophy majors to complete their degrees.
*Some of the philosophy faculty are being let go. It seems likely that some will be retained, but I do not know who that will be. No school is perfect, but I’ve enjoyed my time at LU and would not mind continuing employment here. I’m sure each of my colleagues would say the same.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
I know many that have graduated from Liberty and I would agree with Jack that they most likely cut the program due to this current climate. From what I know of it, I am not surprised philosophy was not on the higher end of their priorities. Not that it is a low-quality school but it also is not a scholarly institution.

I think it has always been a better school than one might imagine based on some of the leadership they've had there through the years and some of their antics. (Beyond the Falwells, remember that Ergun Caner was there for a number of years.)

Reformation Heritage Books actually used to sell the Nelson King James Study Bible, which was produced by the early faculty at Liberty Baptist Seminary. To be sure, it's not great from a Reformed perspective (baptistic, moderate dispensationalist, moderate Calvinism at best, the latter of which surprised me since I would have assumed it would be thoroughly anti-Calvinist) but it was the best KJV Study Bible out there. It probably still is with the exception of the Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Three major retailers have filed Chapter 11 in the last few weeks.

The head of Boeing has said it is "likely" that a major airline will fail this year. Car dealerships were hurting even before the scientists destroyed the economy. Rumors are that a local tech company is planning significant layoffs. It's no surprise that Universities and Colleges are going to get squeezed, and the unmarketable degrees should be hardest hit.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Three major retailers have filed Chapter 11 in the last few weeks.

The head of Boeing has said it is "likely" that a major airline will fail this year. Car dealerships were hurting even before the scientists destroyed the economy. Rumors are that a local tech company is planning significant layoffs. It's no surprise that Universities and Colleges are going to get squeezed, and the unmarketable degrees should be hardest hit.

I've been thinking that if the smaller colleges that are heavily dependent on tuition can't reopen this fall somewhere close to how they normally would, a good many might shut down for good. Some of these are Christian liberal arts colleges.

The Christian in name only leftist liberal arts colleges often have a larger endowment. But they may suffer too since many of them have gotten fat over the past three decades on inflated tuition driven by the easy availability of student loans. Good riddance to many of them, if so.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I've been thinking that if the smaller colleges that are heavily dependent on tuition can't reopen this fall somewhere close to how they normally would, a good many might shut down for good.


About 5 years ago Montreat was on the verge of merging into a more financially solvent institution. There wasn't going to be much left of the former Montreat operation after the merger. Donors came through with enough to fend off the merger, but they can't be in great shape at this point.

And about the same time, Sweetbriar was making plans to shut down, but managed to get a court to allow them to subvert the written instructions of a larger donor, and transfer funds legally intended for one purpose to be used for general operating expenses. One would think they've probably run through a big chunk of that money by now.

Of course, the totalitarians up at Oberlin are facing a sizable judgment for their misconduct.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I've been thinking that if the smaller colleges that are heavily dependent on tuition can't reopen this fall somewhere close to how they normally would, a good many might shut down for good. Some of these are Christian liberal arts colleges.

This could lead to some permanent changes for the better regarding college affordability, especially if online learning settles in more or less permanently, even after the virus subsides.

I'm sure there are a lot of parents thinking, "I'm paying $50,000 per year so junior can sit at home staring at his computer? I don't think so!"
 
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