Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 27, 2018

Claremont Closes Philosophy Department, Fires Its Two Tenured Professors

ClaremontPress Release, CGU Board Votes to Close Philosophy Department; Current Students Will Receive Full Support to Complete Their Degrees:

The Board of Trustees of Claremont Graduate University has decided to close the university’s Department of Philosophy as a result of a “combination of market, enrollment, and limited faculty resources,” according to a statement released late last week by Interim President Jacob Adams.

The board, which voted for the closure during its meetings held earlier this month, considered a range of factors, including “the dwindling market for philosophy programs at small privates in our selectivity range,” Adams explained in his message, which was sent out to the university’s staff and faculty. ...

Mason assured the 10 students now enrolled in the university’s philosophy program that they would receive the full support of the university to complete their degree programs.

Leiter's Philosophy Blog, Claremont Graduate University Shuts Its Philosophy Department, and Two Tenured Faculty Will Be Terminated!:

The Claremont Graduate University will be closing the PhD program and terminating two tenured faculty!  One, Charles Young, a specialist in ancient philosophy, may have the reasonable option to retire, but the other, Masahiro Yamada (epistemology), a tenured associate professor (with a family), will need to find a new position.  

Inside Higher Ed, Philosophers Object To Decision To Close Claremont Philosophy Department

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I guess they can by philosophical about it at least.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jul 27, 2018 11:12:40 AM

I doubt they are of the stoic school.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Jul 28, 2018 5:37:44 AM

This posting is worth mentioning:
Masahiro Yamada said...
CGU terminated Charles Young’s and my employment on June 30. While CGU made last minute take-it-or-leave-it (i.e., take-it-or-you-are-fired) offers to each of us to continue at CGU for the next two years, both the manner and content of the offers were unacceptable.

Charles served the university for over 40 years as a much beloved and admired colleague and mentor. Instead of a decent and honorable transition to retirement that he deserves, he finds himself fired at the end of his career. Disgrace is too mild a word for his treatment.

As for students, there still is no concrete plan for them nor any indication of a willingness to make accommodations for the disruptions that the situation has, and continues to, cause. Their fight goes on.

Masahiro Yamada

Even the timing is dreadful. It'd be hard for either faculty to find employment for the next academic year, beginning in mere weeks. The same in true of the students. It's very late for them to arrange a transfer to university that actually has a philosophy department and full-time faculty.

Claremont is now on my "don't study there" list.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jul 28, 2018 6:32:05 AM

Guess they are more interested in teaching what to think than how to think.

Posted by: Gca | Jul 28, 2018 7:18:20 AM

The "Masahiro Yamada" link in the article isn't working.

Posted by: egg0 | Jul 28, 2018 9:22:30 AM

I am afraid that Claremont has committed a basic category error.

Posted by: Sam | Jul 28, 2018 10:29:38 AM

As a general rule in higher education, any department that ends in "studies" should be eliminated before anything else. I write this as someone who has worked in higher education for the past 25 years.

Posted by: anymouse | Jul 28, 2018 11:04:09 AM

That is a shame. A rigorous philosophy degree is actually worthwhile and idoes encompass rational analysis, fact finding, problem solving and looking at issues/challenges in a variety of ways.

I say that as someone with an MS in Mech Eng with a specialization in fluid flow and thermodynamics.
I'm currently trying to get through Kant's 'A Critique of Pure Reason', and it is fascinating and in ways harder than most of my engineering work. I plan to delve into Schopenhauer next...

Posted by: grayswindir | Jul 30, 2018 8:30:54 AM