Liberty University has chosen to completely dissolve the philosophy department. As of June 30 I am unemployed.
After several of his FB friends offered consolation, Foreman wrote:
Thanks for your comments folks. No, we had no notice that this was coming. We all got letters telling us we were nonrenewed the last couple of days. There is no retirement program…And I don’t know what my plans are yet. Still reeling from the news.
Foreman says that the entire department (7 faculty members) has been “laid off.” (All of them appear to be full professors). Liberty does not have tenure.
This speaks volumes about Liberty University’s commitment to Christian thinking and the liberal arts. But it doesn’t surprise me.
Last year Insider Higher Ed reported that Liberty has been losing students. It made multiple faculty cuts in June, including the termination of eleven divinity school faculty. Read all about that here.
One of the members of the philosophy department, Gary Habermas, is a leading Christian apologist known widely in conservative evangelical circles. He is 69-years old.
ADDENDUM (May 12, 10:45am):
According to Mark Foreman’s Facebook page, it appears that Gary Habermas has a primary appointment in the John Rawlings School of Divinity. I assume this means he will be staying at Liberty. Foreman also noted that Sean Turchin, who handles the online philosophy programs at Liberty, has been retained. This means that five professors have lost jobs.
Also, upon closer examination, it appears Turchin is an assistant professor.
This post from a Liberty University student summarizes things well:
As a Liberty student, this really hurts to see. Apparently we have the money to pay our president and football coach 7 figures, and build a multi-million dollar basketball arena because the old one was too big, but not enough money for philosophy. https://t.co/u3Ju3c4i2b
— Adherent Apologetics (@AApologetics) May 12, 2020
ADDENDUM #2 (May 12, 1:55pm):
This comes from Foreman’s FB page:
I believe a follow up is necessary to my announcement yesterday concering [sic] my seperation [sic] form Liberty University and I need to make sure everyone understands this. A number of folks have made some sharp and critical statements about LU. That has not come from me. I am saddened about the decsion [sic] the university has made but I hold no ill-feelings or grudges against the university. My 30 years on the faculty have been rewarding and satisfying. I have loved my students and colleagues and have been treated well by the administration. I only wish for continued success for the school. Nobody should read anything negative about the university or its administration from my comments.
In addition, Foreman declined a request to talk with a Chronicle of Higher Education reporter who reached out on his FB page.