Agenda Item FA 13-22

Submitted by the Executive Committee

Philosophy Department Name Changed Request

05/09/13: Passed

05/15/13: Approved

Philosophy Department Name Changed Request


Date:   March 14, 2013
TO:   Barbara Hetrick, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences
FROM:   Bert Koegler, Chair
Department of Philosophy
SUBJECT:   Proposal for Departmental Name Change  


I hereby submit the request to officially change the name of the "Department of Philosophy" to "Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies."  The reasons for this request are grounded in the fact that the Department of Philosophy recently (Fall 2012) added a BA in Religious Studies. The department offered a Minor in Religious Studies since its inception as a separate department in 1999. The Minor was offered by what we defined as a program in Religious Studies. With a BA in Religious Studies, and two full-time faculty serving as Religious Studies Professors (besides several adjunct faculty, as well as affiliated regular faculty both in philosophy as well as in other programs such as sociology and anthropology), we feel it is time to officially present our Department as the home to two BA programs: philosophy and religious studies.


The department name change was unanimously approved by all regular faculty via vote. The new department name would adequately reflect the existence of its two BA programs. Nationally, departments with similar programs are usually carrying both disciplines in their name. It may also be noted that the label 'Philosophy & Religious Studies' is already used in many contexts on the UNF campus. Regular faculty consist of both philosophy faculty (10 regular tenure-track lines) and religious studies faculty (currently 2 regular tenure-track lines), and the department offers courses in General Education as well as upper division in both disciplines.


In sum, we as a Department request permission to officially change our name to "Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies."  Since this 

  • Adequately expresses the two programs and BAs housed in the Department;
  • Is fully supported by all faculty;
  • Conforms to national practices of department naming in similar circumstances, and
  • Highlights the equivalent status of Religious Studies as a new BA program in our Department.