This is the definitive place to discuss everything that makes life on & off campus so unique in Central Virginia.

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By ElmersTwin
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#600223
Purple Haize wrote: May 12th, 2020, 3:48 pm
NG33 wrote: May 12th, 2020, 3:04 pm It's been a while since I've posted on this site, but when I heard the news of the Philosophy Dept being dissolved, I had just assumed it was an exaggeration. As others have noted, our ministry-focused degrees will be impacted much more than people realize with this decision.

This one definitely hits close to home since the philosophy classes I took at LU are what the Holy Spirit used to lead me to Christ. In fact, one of the most impactful books on my faith journey, "God and Evil" has a chapter written by David Beck, a philosophy professor at LU. I was really proud of that fact.

As someone who has led Bible studies in Boston and San Francisco, philosophy and apologetics play large roles in ministry in places where people grew up less religious and with no personal connection to orthodox Christianity. While I know philosophy itself isn't the most lucrative profession, I do think it's still an important one, particularly for Christians. This may sound funny, but I was excited for the day LU had a philosopher like Alvin Plantinga or Richard Swinburne come up from its ranks. I hope this department comes back some day at Liberty. The world needs more Christians in philosophy, not less of it.
This Department will never come back. It is not a lucrative enough endeavor.
Lucrative like a BS in Worship Studies? 🤔
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By Sly Fox
Registration Days Posts
#600229
ElmersTwin wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:16 pm
Purple Haize wrote: May 12th, 2020, 3:48 pm This Department will never come back. It is not a lucrative enough endeavor.
Lucrative like a BS in Worship Studies? 🤔
Yes, exactly like that degree. People may not be getting mad money after graduation with those credentials but there are tons of high school kids who are all about this major. The old paradigm of universities was based on building programs focused on alumni benevolence. The new paradigm is aimed at attracting the maximum student interest to keep the pipeline flowing based on market analysis. It is easy to crack on leadership based on administrative decisions like the one in this thread, but their business savvy is unquestioned.
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By ElmersTwin
Posts
#600236
Sly Fox wrote: May 13th, 2020, 8:52 am
ElmersTwin wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:16 pm
Purple Haize wrote: May 12th, 2020, 3:48 pm This Department will never come back. It is not a lucrative enough endeavor.
Lucrative like a BS in Worship Studies? 🤔
Yes, exactly like that degree. People may not be getting mad money after graduation with those credentials but there are tons of high school kids who are all about this major. The old paradigm of universities was based on building programs focused on alumni benevolence. The new paradigm is aimed at attracting the maximum student interest to keep the pipeline flowing based on market analysis. It is easy to crack on leadership based on administrative decisions like the one in this thread, but their business savvy is unquestioned.
I was more so referring to the ratio of students who actually end up as a career worship leader, but I see your point. No doubt it's lucrative for LU, especially considering the emphasis SOM is placing on commercial music.
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By Purple Haize
Registration Days Posts
#600238
ElmersTwin wrote: May 13th, 2020, 9:36 am
Sly Fox wrote: May 13th, 2020, 8:52 am
ElmersTwin wrote: May 12th, 2020, 11:16 pm

Lucrative like a BS in Worship Studies? 🤔
Yes, exactly like that degree. People may not be getting mad money after graduation with those credentials but there are tons of high school kids who are all about this major. The old paradigm of universities was based on building programs focused on alumni benevolence. The new paradigm is aimed at attracting the maximum student interest to keep the pipeline flowing based on market analysis. It is easy to crack on leadership based on administrative decisions like the one in this thread, but their business savvy is unquestioned.
I was more so referring to the ratio of students who actually end up as a career worship leader, but I see your point. No doubt it's lucrative for LU, especially considering the emphasis SOM is placing on commercial music.
There ya go
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By RubberMallet
Registration Days Posts
#600301
philosophy is a necessary dabble but a poor major. i'm not a fan of people going thousands of dollars in debt for a philosophy degree if they aren't going into a philosophy field.

worship studies....what a joke though.
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By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600306
RubberMallet wrote:philosophy is a necessary dabble but a poor major. i'm not a fan of people going thousands of dollars in debt for a philosophy degree if they aren't going into a philosophy field.

worship studies....what a joke though.
Yeah, I'm not sure I'd encourage anyone to major in philosophy...unless they wanted to teach philosophy.

But, I think it's a legit course of study for those going into theology and apologetics at the very least.

The things that are interesting is that, according to Foreman, they were blindsided by this. I would hope that, if the dept was on a potential chopping block due to low enrollment for that major, they would know far ahead of time so that they could market their program better, etc. And perhaps the Dept Chair knew that info and didn't share it with the other members.

I would say it would have been a good move to move at least a few of those folks into the Divinity dept but I know they've faced their own cuts as well.
By rogers3
Registration Days Posts
#600322
Actually a Phil BA followed by an MBA would be a strong education. I wouldn't hire a business undergrad over a Phil or Soci grad and I teach business undergrads.
By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600346
rogers3 wrote:Actually a Phil BA followed by an MBA would be a strong education. I wouldn't hire a business undergrad over a Phil or Soci grad and I teach business undergrads.
Yeah, in the end, depends so much on the candidate. I've seen so many candidates over the years with a varying degree of degrees (pun intended) and a lot of folks look great on paper with what appears to be some kind of mastery in multiple disciplines. The reality is often different.
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By ALUmnus
Registration Days Posts
#600371
Yacht Rock wrote: May 14th, 2020, 11:15 am
RubberMallet wrote:philosophy is a necessary dabble but a poor major. i'm not a fan of people going thousands of dollars in debt for a philosophy degree if they aren't going into a philosophy field.

worship studies....what a joke though.
Yeah, I'm not sure I'd encourage anyone to major in philosophy...unless they wanted to teach philosophy.

But, I think it's a legit course of study for those going into theology and apologetics at the very least.

The things that are interesting is that, according to Foreman, they were blindsided by this. I would hope that, if the dept was on a potential chopping block due to low enrollment for that major, they would know far ahead of time so that they could market their program better, etc. And perhaps the Dept Chair knew that info and didn't share it with the other members.

I would say it would have been a good move to move at least a few of those folks into the Divinity dept but I know they've faced their own cuts as well.
This report puts it in a better light:
https://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/ ... 770ea.html

It's hard to know what's spin, but this quote makes it hard to believe they didn't see it coming. Still, be creative and make it work.
In 2015, the school dissolved the master’s program in philosophy after seeing a similar decrease in enrollment.

“At that time, we began evaluating our B.A. in Philosophy Program and working hard to achieve increased enrollments,” the school said in a statement, referring to the undergraduate bachelor of arts degree. “This effort did not bear fruit.”

In the last academic year, fewer than 20 students were pursuing philosophy degrees, according to the university.

The philosophy department stopped accepting new students last fall in an effort to wind down the degree program. The decision followed years of steady decline in enrollment.
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By RubberMallet
Registration Days Posts
#600374
I can expand upon my thought alittle more. A philosphy degree itself is not worth going into debt for (i argue most are not). For me it is only worthwhile if you step stone it into a different degree in a different path. In my hiring experience (business, software development) just holding a BA philosophy degree is not as impressive as someone who went into dedicated law/business/cs etc. At that point its all on the individual. I think you prove that you can be taught and can think critically but the overhead in getting you to where someone with a degree in the actual field we are hiring for may be too great an investment in the short run. anything over a 5 year plan its probably much more desirable but most departments aren't prepared for long term.

many universities load their business and law programs with philosophy classes to the point where sometimes youare wondering what kind of degree am i getting. Which i think is good but to me means that getting a full degree in philosphy is unnecessary . I have a business degree from liberty. i think i took philosophy as an elective. My hs friend went to university of illinois and he had to take at least 2 different philosophy classes.
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By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600384
RubberMallet wrote: May 15th, 2020, 2:25 pm I can expand upon my thought alittle more. A philosphy degree itself is not worth going into debt for (i argue most are not). For me it is only worthwhile if you step stone it into a different degree in a different path. In my hiring experience (business, software development) just holding a BA philosophy degree is not as impressive as someone who went into dedicated law/business/cs etc. At that point its all on the individual. I think you prove that you can be taught and can think critically but the overhead in getting you to where someone with a degree in the actual field we are hiring for may be too great an investment in the short run. anything over a 5 year plan its probably much more desirable but most departments aren't prepared for long term.

many universities load their business and law programs with philosophy classes to the point where sometimes youare wondering what kind of degree am i getting. Which i think is good but to me means that getting a full degree in philosphy is unnecessary . I have a business degree from liberty. i think i took philosophy as an elective. My hs friend went to university of illinois and he had to take at least 2 different philosophy classes.
I agree with this. If they had said, "We've eliminated the degree but are keeping many courses as they are key to truly mastering a multitude of disciplines" it would make sense.

And maybe they are. Maybe they will be rehiring many of these folks into other departments. I don't know the ins and outs of their contracts to know why they would cut a severance and then hire someone back at another dept quickly.

I'd also be curious how much communication went to the professors on the lack of offering the B.A. Phil. degree? If they cut it in the fall and knew it wasn't continuing, it wouldn't be hard to see the writing on the wall. Were they told they would continue to contribute in other ways?

Who knows.
#600401
This is more of an indictment of the anti-intellectualism of students rather than an indictment against LU for not sponsoring a program that no students sign up for. Everyone signs up to be a music major, and proceeds to have fun for four years while not growing intellectually. I wish philosophy was understood among Christian students as a necessary component of apologetics, and sign up for the major as a result.
By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600404
Well, I think there's a combination of things. And I wouldn't indict students on not wanting to pursue a B.A. in Phil. In my opinion, the cost of getting a degree like that isn't worth the benefit, for most students.

That being said, I do think that philosophy should be a core component of many of the other subjects that are being studied at Liberty and have robust enrollment.

Like @rogers3 stated, a strong foundation in philosophy will help you in nearly any discipline. Business, the arts, theology, etc.
By ATrain
Registration Days Posts
#600437
rogers3 wrote: May 14th, 2020, 8:14 pm Actually a Phil BA followed by an MBA would be a strong education. I wouldn't hire a business undergrad over a Phil or Soci grad and I teach business undergrads.
BS Communications + MBA here 8)
By rogers3
Registration Days Posts
#600444
I took students on a recruiting visit to Merck in Richmond a couple of years ago and meet an LU grad a year or two out of their PHIL BA who was in a business development group there. When the recruiter talked to the students, he pointed this LU grad out and told how he beat out a large number of Business and Marketing grads for the position. He stressed the value of critical thought, the ability to be open minded and the quick learning attributes that they found to be typical with graduates that had a more liberal (meaning broad for you political firebrands) education versus the typical professional degree. The engineering department at my school teaches no specialty and has a strong liberal arts focus. It seems to work; I had a student placed at NASA, Lockheed-Martin, and in civilian ops at Cherry Point just this year.
Point is, one should value programs that teach student to think deeply since this rarely happens in high school these days. Thank God for schools like New Covenant!
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By Yacht Rock
Posts
#600447
Yeah, one of the things that was really emphasized at Apple was how the best ideas (as far as technology is concerned) come from the intersection of technology and humanities and the liberal arts.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-des ... not-enough

It's something that I try to teach the students in my classroom. Understanding the human condition is vital if they want to have any kind of positive impact on the world.
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By ALUmnus
Registration Days Posts
#601904
Posted today over at Credo. Maybe not directly aimed at LU, but definitely appropriate.

By paradox
Registration Days Posts
#608520
Robert P George weighs in here:

https://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirro ... rty-u.html

"And so I hope that the administration and trustees of Liberty will hear my plea as coming from a friend--someone who wishes you well and believes in your mission. Humanities are central to liberal arts learning and philosophy is the heart of the humanities."
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