Department of Philosophy and Religion
Mission Statement and Department Goals
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.
The Department of Philosophy and Religion has two-part process for evaluating adjunct teachers:
Review and file evaluation form that is filled out once each academic year by a
- Member of the department’s Tenure and Promotion Committee
- Review student evaluation forms for each course taught by each adjunct faculty member
the academic year. File summary sheets
Tenure By-Laws and Criteria
The awarding of tenure is an expression of the university's confidence in the professional excellence of the individual. The Department of Philosophy and Religion acknowledges the importance of tenure and sets forth the following guidelines for tenure-track faculty.
UTC Philosophy & Religion Tenure By-Laws and Criteria
Tenure and Promotion By-Laws and Criteria
The awarding of tenure and promotion is an expression of the university's confidence in the professional excellence of the individual. The Department of Philosophy and Religion acknowledges the importance of tenure and promotion, and sets forth the following guidelines for tenure-track and tenured faculty.
The department will maintain a retention, promotion, and tenure committee. Membership of that committee will consist of all tenured faculty within the department with the exception of the Head. Tenured faculty on leave are eligible to sit on the committee, but are not required to do so. The tenure and promotion committee must consist of at least three members. If there are not three tenured faculty in the department, additional members will be added to the committee in accordance with section 3.3.1 of the UTC Faculty Handbook. Committee decisions are made by majority vote (yes or no) of those present and voting. A quorum, as specified by Robert's Rules of Order, is required for actions to take place. These by-laws address specific procedures in this department's tenure and promotion process which may differ from those of other departments. However, nothing in the by-laws should be understood to conflict with general university policy as found in chapter three of the Faculty Handbook.
Departmental Criteria for Tenure and Promotion:
(1) Excellence in teaching and advising as demonstrated by such evidence as the following:
- student ratings of faculty instruction
- evidence of student performance with respect to appropriate outcome measures
- peer evaluations, including classroom visitation and review of course materials
- required academic advising of students
- student, faculty, or alumni awards for outstanding teaching
- record as director of student research projects and independent studies
- preparation and/or use of current teaching materials (e.g., workbook, computer program or online resources, bibliography)
- participation in pedagogical conferences and workshops
- authoring and/or receipt of grants that assist pedagogy
(2) Established record in scholarly research and publication, as well as of continuing research program as demonstrated by such evidence as the following:
- publication of articles or reviews in peer-reviewed professional regional, national, or international journals
- publication of editorially reviewed books with a regional, national, or international publisher
- peer-reviewed publications in electronic format
- presentation of peer-reviewed papers at professional meetings
- other publications or presentations relevant to one's professional expertise
- awards for excellence in research from an appropriate professional society
- authoring of grant proposals and receipt of research grants from internal or external sources
- testimonials from peers at off-campus institutions attesting to the quality and significance of research, including reviews of one's books or other publications
(3) Record of continuous service to the profession, university, and community as demonstrated by such evidence as the following:
- active service on committees of the department, university, and professional organizations
- chairing departmental and university committees
- service as an elected member, executive committee member, or president of the Faculty Senate
- service as an officer in state, national, or international professional organization , documented community service related to the profession
- authoring and/or receipt of public service grants
The above listing should not be considered a comprehensive listing, nor should it be assumed that the three items are of equal significance. The department places its greatest weight on the first two items, with the appropriate balance to be determined by negotiation between Head and faculty member in each individual case.
These by-laws address specific clarification, appropriate for this department, of the general criteria for tenure and promotion found in chapter three of the Faculty Handbook The College of Arts & Sciences also maintains a regularly updated publication, "Promotion and Tenure: A Guide to the Preparation of Documentation," which is endorsed by this department as a complement to these by-laws and a valuable guide to the faculty member in preparing an effective tenure or promotion application. Neither bylaws nor guide should be understood to conflict with general university policy as found in chapter three of the Faculty Handbook Adopted 417/99.
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