Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Slighter Sycamore

Indiana State University is moving to eliminate majors in physics and philosophy. Apparently the faculty will stay, but they will be merged to other programs. I fully agree with this comment on the Inside Higher Ed story:

According to the article, the plan is to eliminate the philosophy and physics majors, not to disband the departments entirely. It is important to note this distinction, as many comments have done. But eliminating the major will have the (presumably unintended) consequence of making it much more difficult to hire qualified faculty to teach the introductory classes that the university (presumably) will want to continue offering. Teaching the same introductory classes over and over again gets real old real quick. If you want to retain good faculty, you need to give them the opportunity to grow and develop as scholars and teachers—and that happens by letting them teach the advanced classes, which you can’t offer if you don’t have majors who are qualified to take them.

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