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Retain the WIU Philosophy program and major

This petition had 1,661 supporters

The Western Illinois University Interim Provost has recommended to the Board of Trustees that the Philosophy major be eliminated. The vote is on June 10.

Whereas the Provost’s Academic Enhancement Task Force identified philosophy as one of six foundational disciplines for Western Illinois University in the fall of 2015;

Whereas the Academic Program Elimination Review Committee recommended, “that the administration retain the Philosophy Program (major) on the condition that the program complete the curriculum revision that will include Religious Studies as an option in the Philosophy major;”

Whereas the Academic Program Elimination Review Committee stated that, “If the university were to reduce its support for the program (major) in Philosophy, it would be seen as potentially compromising its commitment to academic excellence and Western’s identity as a comprehensive university;”

Whereas the Philosophy program clearly supports all four core values and is central to the mission of the university;

Whereas the Philosophy program has increased the number of majors by 25% from the fall of 2011 to the spring of 2016;

Whereas in the past six years, the Philosophy program lost three faculty members whose courses enrolled at greater than 95% of capacity, yet were not replaced;

Whereas the Philosophy program’s reduction in student credit hour production and general education enrollments were less than the proportion of the reduction in faculty members in the timeframe evaluated; 

Whereas the study of philosophy makes non-majors more proficient in their own discipline through the development of valuable critical thinking skills, communication skills, and reflection on values and ethics;

Whereas philosophy majors demonstrate their excellence in critical thinking and writing skills by having the highest average scores on the GRE, the highest average scores on the LSAT among common majors for law school, and the third highest average scores on the GMAT;

Be it resolved that we, the undersigned request that the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees not approve Resolution 16.6/5, but instead retain the philosophy major with the addition of a religious studies option as recommended by the Academic Program Elimination Review Committee

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