Philosophy, political science, legal studies depts. merge

Jill Norris May 1, 2013 0
Philosophy, political science, legal studies depts. merge

Dean of Faculty Fletcher McClellan announced on Friday, April 19 that the philosophy and political science departments will be merging into one unit. This union led to the creation of the department of politics, philosophy and legal studies (PPLS). This merger will officially take place at the beginning of the 2013-2014 academic school year.

“The creation of PPLS should have little impact on current students,” McClellan stated. “There are no changes in major requirements and students will continue to have the same faculty advisors. Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Kyle Kopko is working on revising the legal studies major (formerly named political philosophy and legal studies), but those changes will be for new students.”

Dr. April Kelly-Woessner, associate professor of political science, will serve as the PPLS department chair and Kopko will remain the director of the pre-law program. The three majors recognized within the new department will be political science, philosophy and legal studies.

1. Combining two smaller departments with shared curriculum interests.
2. Increasing attention to legal studies and the pre-law program.
3. Promoting interdisciplinary scholarship and collaboration between students and faculty members.
4. Enhancing the performance of administrative functions.

Although the change in the 2013-2014 course catalog will not severely impact current students at the College, future incoming students will be provided with additional resources and faculty members because of the department merger. “The new department should have an even brighter future as it searches for new faculty in comparative politics and Asian studies and applied global ethics next year. If these searches are successful, the number of full-time faculty in PPLS will grow from six to eight in 2014-15,” McClellan said.

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