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The Antelope

Philosophy should be valued, even after discontinuation


Political science, the medical field, criminal justice, journalism.

Many career fields operate by different codes of ethics, but they stem from an underlying field of study.


The importance of philosophy at an educational institution cannot be emphasized enough, so we are disheartened to think of UNK discontinuing the program. In fact, it saddens us to see any program or department at risk on our campus.

At the same time, however, we understand why.

The university officials are justified in discussing the fate of the philosophy program. UNK cannot ignore the notification from the Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, especially when the three-year deadline for a decision is fast-approaching.

According to the CCPE, seven majoring students and twelve minoring students are not enough to justify the major at UNK. 

On the bright side, philosophy will not die off completely.

We support the solution to keep the philosophy minor, so students can still be exposed to deeper thinking and philosophical ideas. In this way, we hope philosophy faculty can continue to teach and students can continue to pursue philosophy as an interest.

When looking at gen ed requirements, there are five philosophy classes that are included in the 40 humanities courses available to fill general studies requirements. Everyone needs at least one humanities gen ed course, so why don’t students consider philosophy as more of an option?

In this way, the philosophy program members are justified in the lack of support they feel right now. Their enrollment numbers have been affected by many factors such as COVID-19, the restructured gen ed program and complaints that philosophy is “too hard”. 

If it was easy, everyone would do it, College pushes people to step outside of their comfort zone.

But time is running out. Both sides are justified, and the situation is unfortunate no matter what. 

To keep philosophy from disappearing, we urge students to enroll in a philosophy class for this upcoming semester or attend the philosophy club lectures. Even for the non-related majors, philosophy causes students to question the world around them and to seek knowledge for their own enlightenment.

Charlie Bicak, the senior vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, described the philosophy program as, “the umbrella for the whole of higher ed”.

For the sake of monitoring the departmental success at UNK, the philosophy program has to go. But for the sake of higher education and thinking outside the box, we can still keep the field of study alive in other ways.

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