St. Thomas University
Minutes of Special Senate Meeting
The members reconvened in a special meeting to consider the External Review of the Philosophy Department.
Dr. MacDonald introduced the SRCC consideration of the external review:
Recommendation # 1: That an additional (i.e. fifth full-time) faculty member be hired immediately, preferably with a competence or specialty in medieval philosophy, and with a strong teaching competence in at least one of: modern philosophy, ethics and logic.
Recommendation # 7: That the Department take advantage of the “Visiting Chairs” as a means of bringing in, for a short term, scholars who can provide breadth and depth to the current course offerings and who can also provide some research stimulus for the faculty.
Motion: That recommendations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 be adopted by Senate.
(Senate considered each recommendation separately and passed the
Recommendation # 2: That for this position (in # 1), as well as for any subsequent positions, candidates have a strong grounding in the history of philosophy, and that this be clearly indicated in the advertisement.
Recommendation # 3: That, as additional faculty are hired, the range of course offerings be moderately expanded, to reinforce or develop the existing program - in particular, strengthening the thematic level of courses - though not at the risk of jeopardizing the good work already achieved by the Department’s strong historical emphasis.
Recommendation # 4: That, to respond to the needs of different groups of students, more (or more sections of) thematic courses should be offered. Courses in logic (or critical thinking) and ethics would be attractive to students taking philosophy to fulfill general curriculum requirements, as well as furthering the University’s and the Department’s mission related objectives and goals.
Recommendation # 5: That the current courses in the Philosophy of Human Nature be expanded in scope, so that they would cover more issues related to metaphysics and epistemology, and be of broader interest to students who are not majors in philosophy.
Recommendation # 6: That the Department of Philosophy be active in determining whether there are Philosophy courses at UNB that could be coordinated with courses at STU and also whether some courses could be used to supplement courses offered at STU, particularly in the areas of 20th century and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy.
Recommendation # 8: That the department introduce a capstone course, which would be centered on students’ projects (including theses) and presentation, with all the faculty participating in some way.
Recommendation # 9: That the University strongly encourage and support regular attendance and/or presentation or papers at least at regional and national scholarly conferences in philosophy.
Recommendation # 10: That the Department promote an active research atmosphere, through the invitation of guest speakers to the University, the organization of seminars in reading groups with other philosophers and scholars in the region, and (where possible) the organization of colloquia on topics or themes where the University already has an established reputation.
Recommendation # 11: That the Department ensure that its library budget is fully expended each year, and give priority to acquiring major reference books in philosophy.
Recommendation # 12: That the department make more use of the library and technological resources available, both in teaching and in research.
The special meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Larry Batt, Secretary
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