Brian Leiter at Leiter Reports: A Group Blog bears unwelcome news from Terre Haute:

“Indiana State University proposes to eliminate its Philosophy Department (with four faculty), as well as its Physics Department, while upgrading Insurace and Risk Management; Physical Education; Exercise Science (not to be confused with Phys Ed!); Packaging Technology; and Textiles, Apparel & Merchandise.”

From which he concludes, “Indiana State must drop the ‘university’ from its name, and choose a more apt name, like ‘Indiana State Vocational-Technical School.’ There is, no doubt, need for such vocational and technical training, but it should not be done under the guise of pretending to be a university or institution of higher learning. To be the latter, the school simply must offer a systematic course of study, leading to a degree, in central disciplines like Physics and Philosophy.”

Leiter also has a long, cogent comment from the chair of the soon-to-be-former university’s philosophy department, Rocco Gennaro, who notes that the cuts, if implemented, will save little money and damage the school’s reputation: “I will do all in my power to prevent this from happening; I couldn’t live with myself or face others in my profession if I didn’t. We are willing to combine departments here at ISU, but losing our major (and who knows what else) is entirely different.”

More links and comments at Inside Higher Ed. Apparently ISU is under pressure to terminate “under-enrolled” subjects.