Academic Program Elimination Reorganization Committee meets to plan report

Jason Hardimon, Staff Reporter

The Academic Program Elimination Reorganization Committee met Wednesday for final planning of its report before its final meeting next Monday.

Committee Chairman Richard Jones, a communication studies professor, led committee members through specific passages of the working draft that were marked for additions or for discussion of the language.

Jones said the final draft of the committee’s report would likely exceed 25 pages and include an executive summary. The report will include several passages addressing the philosophy department’s profitability and stability of enrollment, Eastern’s mission statement and learning goals, graduation requirements, the interdisciplinary functions of philosophy, cultural diversity and potential methods for philosophy’s reorganization.

The committee was recently provided with updated profit and loss statements for the philosophy department by Provost Blair Lord that prove the philosophy department earned a profit for three of the past five years totaling about $200,000.

The committee has also determined that elimination of the philosophy department as a whole, or as a major specifically, would impact nine minors and seven majors at Eastern. The philosophy department offers 21 individual courses that fulfill requirements for these programs.

The committee divided passages of its draft among pairs of members for additional writing and review.

Jill Fahy, a professor in the department of communication disorders and sciences, volunteered to look at the potential methods for the reorganization of philosophy, a section in the committee’s report that had not gotten particular attention.

Fahy said she was curious about how merging philosophy with other departments could be inefficient.

“Think about their curriculum meetings and their programing, course development and course revisions,” Fahy said. “Everything must move web-like through so many layers of people to whom they are responsible. How could you do that in a disintegrated manner?”

Jones reminded the committee that it has yet to discuss with whom it should share its report in addition to the Provost, and how the report will be made available for review if the committee were to make its findings public.

The committee will submit its final report to Lord Wednesday, March 15.

Jason Hardimon can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].