Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University just gutted its entire Philosophy Dept., including all professors, according to one who says he was notified not by phone but by a letter in the mail. The school offers a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, no word on how that will affect current students or if they have even been notified.
“Liberty University has chosen to completely dissolve the philosophy department. As of June 30 I am unemployed,” Professor Mark Foreman writes on his Facebook page, noting there is no retirement program.
In a comment Professor Foreman says, “our entire department has been laid off,” and adds, “we had no notice that this was coming. We all got letters telling us we were nonrenewed the last couple of days. There is no retirement program,” he notes. “And I don’t know what my plans are yet. Still reeling from the news.”
Messiah College Professor John Fea, who first reported the news, writes, “This speaks volumes about Liberty University’s commitment to Christian thinking and the liberal arts. But it doesn’t surprise me.”
“Last year,” he adds, “Insider Higher Ed reported that Liberty has been losing students. It made multiple faculty cuts in June, including the termination of eleven divinity school faculty.”
On the school’s website Liberty University lauds it philosophy degree which it says “will prepare you to assess theories and worldviews by analyzing and evaluating claims and arguments from a biblical perspective.”
“Prepare for your career as you study multiple-perspective thinking led by professors who share your passion for philosophy and who are grounded in their Christian faith. Learn how to express your position and argue for the truth of Christian Theism.”
It’s not known how the school will now offer that critical piece of a Christian education.
“Honestly, what’s the point of a university where philosophy isn’t even on the menu?” Mehta asks. “I know it’s Liberty, but even Christian schools usually pride themselves on making sure students are well-versed in the humanities. Not here. Not anymore.”