Department of Philosophy and Religion
Mission Statement and Department Goals
Mission Statement. The Department will seek to:
1. Provide for UTC undergraduates an intellectually responsible understanding of philosophy and religion by way of training in the analysis of the major issues which confront these disciplines.
2. Help students develop as mature, rational and concerned human beings, with a life-long commitment to learning and thought.
3. Develop students' abilities to communicate intelligently with other persons, to be sensitive to the past, responsive to the present, and open to the future.
4. Encourage students to make significant contributions to the larger community, both within the university and the academic disciplines, and in Chattanooga and the society at large.
l. Our primary objective continues to be to provide a full complement of high-quality courses, including a rigorous Senior Educational Experience, commensurate with an academically sound major and minor in Philosophy and Religion.
During 2008-2009 we shall also:
2. Support extra-curricular programs in Judaic Studies, Asian Studies, and the Women’s Studies major on campus.
3. Continue to develop our library holdings in philosophy and religion as funds permit. Purchases will continue to be made in accordance with the spending plan developed for Judaic Studies. Review our holdings in environmental philosophy.
4. Continue efforts to recruit students for our major and minor programs in a way consistent with their own personal and educational goals.
5. Make it possible for faculty members to develop specific plans to write, publish, and present as much as possible in their areas of competence (as indicated in their individual EDO documents); encourage faculty members to seek opportunities for study and other faculty development activities, especially study away from campus.
6. Seek opportunities for our faculty to participate in interdisciplinary programs outside the department as our staffing permits. During 2008-2009 some of our faculty will teach in the University Honors program, the Women’s Studies major, the Western Humanities core courses, and Environmental Sciences.
7. Encourage all faculty members to participate and assume leadership roles in national and regional professional meetings (e.g., AAR, APA, TPA, NAPR, SSSR, SPEP, etc.) insofar as university travel funds permit.
8. Encourage faculty members to complete grant proposals with the hope of procuring external funds to support elements of the department mission.
9. Continue participation in professional ethics with the UT Clinical Education Center at Erlanger, Siskin Hospital, the Chattanooga Association for Clinical Pastoral Care, the Human Rights Committee of Open Arms Care, and Parkridge Ethics Advisory Board.
10. Remain open to possibilities for public service through department projects (e.g., sponsoring public lectures).
11. Continue to fulfill the ordinarily very frequent requests for addresses to community groups.
12. Continue to assist the public schools as opportunities arise, especially with regard to teaching about religion.
13. Continue to provide support and encouragement for the Philosophy Club as a student-led forum for the informal discussion of philosophical issues; encourage student participation in the Southeastern Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (and other student conferences), the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and the Southeast Commission for the Study of Religion (SECSOR).
14. Schedule a series of seminars at which members of the department present the results of research or pedagogical experimentation to other members of the faculty and interested students.
15. Employ teaching review methods in addition to student ratings in the reappointment and tenure process (e.g., peer visits to class).
16. Maintain the department web pages; put syllabi for all courses and other documents online. Explore the possibilities for establishing a departmental Blackboard group and a Facebook page to connect with alumni/ae.
17. Encourage our students to take advantage of our expanding opportunities for study abroad by working to develop summer study programs, and most especially by continuing the summer program of study for students in Oxford, England.
18. Announce and promote a schedule of department programs each semester.
19. Resume the search process for candidates for the Leroy A. Martin Distinguished Professorship in Religious Studies.
20. Integrate adjunct faculty more fully with regular faculty in department activities.
21. Seek to raise additional funds to expand endowment for Robert C. Mildram Scholarship.
22. Explore the possibility of securing positions in Biblical Studies and Islam.
23. Continue to analyze what courses in the department should be offered for General Education credit, and work toward the curricular changes necessitated by these decisions. Work toward recertification of General Education courses when necessary.