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«Administration On July 1, 2010, Mary Sirridge ended a three-year term as department chair, and Delbert Burkett began a three-year term. This change ...»

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MARCH 28, 2011


On July 1, 2010, Mary Sirridge ended a three-year term as department chair, and Delbert Burkett

began a three-year term. This change in the chair entailed a change in other administrators of the

department as well:

2010 spring 2010 fall Section head, Philosophy --- Cogburn Section head, Religious Studies Sutherland Arai Undergraduate advisor(s), Philosophy Cogburn Sirridge, Crystal, Song Undergraduate advisor, Religious Studies Irvine Pasquier Director of Graduate Studies Schufreider Schufreider Jen O’Connor and Margaret Toups continued on as administrative coordinators, full-time and part-time, respectively.

Faculty Three members of the faculty received promotions effective August 2010: François Raffoul and Delbert Burkett, both promoted to professor, and Charles Isbell, promoted to associate professor with tenure.

In the spring and fall of 2010, the department conducted three further personnel reviews: a third-year review for Reem Meshal (spring 2010), a fourth-year review for Ed Song (fall 2010), and a tenure review for Paula Arai (fall 2010). Both Meshal and Song were reappointed. Arai's tenure awaits only the approval of the Board of Supervisors.

Delbert Burkett received a sabbatical leave for the academic year 2009-10. No faculty took a sabbatical in 2010-11. Husain Sarkar and Greg Schufreider submitted proposals in 2010 for sabbaticals in 2011-12. Both proposals await approval by the Board of Supervisors.

Thom Barber, a long-time adjunct who taught logic, retired after the fall of 2010.

Faculty morale took a nosedive in fall 2010 with the beginning of the budget crisis. Several members of the faculty looked for, applied for, and even interviewed for positions at other institutions, though no one left as a result.

Undergraduate education In the spring of 2010, Philosophy and Religious Studies had 93 majors, 66 in Philosophy and 27 concentrating in Religious Studies. 30 majors graduated in 2009-10 (most in May 2010). In the fall of 2010, the number of majors was 105, of which 77 were in senior college and 28 in University College.1 In 2010, the department offered 79 sections of undergraduate courses, 50 lower-division and 29 upper-division. Maximum enrollment was normally set at 55 for lower-division courses and 30 for upper-division courses. According to the Office of Budget and Planning, the department offered 4,544 student credit hours of undergraduate instruction in the fall of 2010 (no figures are available for spring 2010). The SCHs were distributed as shown in the following table.

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The total number of SCHs in fall 2010 (4544) is up from fall 2009 (4,202) but down from fall 2006 (5,516).

Some of the courses offered by the department supported other units in the University. We contributed courses to the Honors College, both in spring 2010 (Henderson) and fall 2010 (Pasquier, Song). Other courses were cross-listed with Anthropology, International Studies, and Linguistics.

Two members of the faculty received teaching awards in 2010. Jeff Roland received the Robert Udick Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Ed Song received the Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching award from the Honors College.

Graduate education

The M.A. in Philosophy has for many years been a low-completer program (one with less than five graduates per year). However, over the past four years, the number of degrees awarded per year has averaged 4.5. This is a significant increase from the 2.8 average in 1999. In fact, over the past two years, the average has risen above 5.0, the minimum needed to keep the program from being considered a low completer. Much of the credit for this increase goes to Greg Schufreider, our Graduate Director, who has actively recruited graduate students who are getting a Ph.D. from another department at LSU.

Members of the philosophy faculty regularly serve as members and directors of committees for M.A. students in Philosophy. In addition, members of both sides of the department regularly serve on dissertation and thesis committees for graduate students in other departments and on Numbers for fall 2010 came from the Registrar’s office (2/18/10). The number of graduates and the number of majors for spring 2010 come from the Enterprise Information System, which does not distinguish between majors in Philosophy and concentrators in Religious Studies. The numbers given by the Office of Budget and Planning (59 for both semesters) are woefully inaccurate.

thesis committees for undergraduates. The faculty served on 25 such committees in 2010. Such service was performed by Cogburn (3), Crystal (3), Finley (4), Henderson (1), Irvine (1), Meshal (1), Rocha (3), Sarkar (1), Sirridge (1), Song (4), and Sutherland (3). François Raffoul served as an external reader and committee member for a graduate student from Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara, California.

One important activity in the life of the department is the Philosophy Colloquium, which is organized by the Philosophy M.A. students and majors under the supervision of a faculty member (currently James Rocha). They organize weekly lectures and have frequent meetings and reading groups. Additionally, the graduate students organize an annual graduate student conference in the spring that brings in participants from all over the country and features keynote speakers. In 2010 one of the two keynote speakers was the president of the American Philosophical Association.


François Raffoul and Michael Pasquier both published single-author books in 2010: The Origins of Responsibility (Raffoul) and Fathers on the Frontier (Pasquier). Both have received positive reviews. Pasquier's press (Oxford) nominated his book for five different prizes, including the Frederick Turner Jackson Award offered by the Organization of American Historians. Raffoul also translated and published, with a co-translator, a book on Oedipus in French by Juan David Nasio. Delbert Burkett published an edited volume, The Blackwell Companion to Jesus, a major reference work with 30 contributors.

In addition to these four books, the faculty also published the following:

10 articles in refereed journals: Cogburn (2), Crystal (1), Meshal (1), Raffoul (2), Roland • (2), Schufreider (1), Song (1) 1 article in a non-refereed journal: Isbell • 9 chapters in edited volumes: Burkett (3), Finley (2), Meshal (1), Pasquier (1), Sirridge • (1), Sutherland (1) 13 encyclopedia entries: Finley (4), Pasquier (9) • 3 book reviews: Pasquier (2), Rocha (1) • The 2010 publication record of our department closely matches the average of philosophy departments that offer a Ph.D. The 2010 report of the National Research Council (NRC) gives the average number of “articles” per faculty member for doctoral programs.2 The average number of articles per faculty member in doctoral programs in philosophy was 15.82 per sevenyear period (2000-2006), or 2.26 articles per year. The average for doctoral programs in religion was somewhat lower: 13.61 articles per seven years, or 1.94 articles per year. Our department’s average for 2010, without counting the13 encyclopedia articles, was 2.22 articles per faculty member,3 close to the 2.26 average for doctoral programs in philosophy.

The term “article” apparently includes chapters in edited volumes as well as articles in journals. It is not clear whether or not it also includes encyclopedia articles. The NRC procedure counts a book as the equivalent of five articles. The term “book” apparently includes edited volumes and translations as well as authored books.

The eight Religious Studies faculty had an average of 2.5 articles, not counting 13 encyclopedia articles. The ten Philosophy faculty had an average of 2.0 articles. The Philosophy faculty published more in refereed journals, while the Religious Studies faculty published more in edited volumes.

In addition to the department’s publications that appeared in 2010, a number of others were accepted for publication. These included an authored book, an edited book, five articles in refereed journals, two articles in conference proceedings, fifteen chapters in edited volumes, one encyclopedia article, and one book review.

Conference activity

François Raffoul was invited to deliver two keynote addresses at professional conferences: for the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy in Edmonton and for the Twenty-First Century

Heidegger Conference in Dublin. Other conference activity consisted of the following:

20 papers presented at professional conferences: Cogburn (1), Finley (5), Pasquier (2), • Raffoul (1), Rocha (5), Song (6) 3 conference sessions chaired: Raffoul (2), Rocha (1) • 3 administrative positions held: Arai (1), Finley (2) • Grants and awards Faculty in the department received a number of awards and received or proposed a number of grants in 2010.

Delbert Burkett received an ATLAS grant for the academic year 2009-10 to work on his • book project: Rethinking the Gospel Sources, Volume 3: M and the Other Sources of Matthew.

Stephen Finley received the Charles Redd Fellowship in Western American Studies • ($1300.) from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. This fellowship funded his travel to BYU in June 2010 to study in their special collections for a book project on African American Latter-Day Saints.

Finley was also a finalist for the 2010 Young Scholars in American Religion Program • sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Religion and Culture at IUPUI.

Michael Pasquier was named a Seminar Fellow in the Young Scholars in American • Religion Program, sponsored by the Center for the Study of American Religion and Culture at IUPUI, for the years 2010-12.

Pasquier also received a Council on Research Summer Stipend ($3000.) for summer 2010 • from the Office of Research and Economic Development at LSU.

Pasquier also received a stipend of $2000. from the LSU Center for Community • Engagement, Learning and Leadership for curriculum and syllabus development as a Service-Learning Faculty Scholar in spring 2010.

Jeff Roland was co-PI on a proposal to obtain an IES/NCER grant from the U.S.

• department of Education to fund development of a new curriculum for middle/high school Algebra courses.

Ed Song was named a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar for the • seminar “Philosophical Perspectives on Liberal Democracy and the Global Order” held at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, in June 2010.

Professional service

Three members of the department serve as editors of a journal or book series:

Finley: associate editor of the Journal of Men, Masculinities, and Spirituality • [http://www.jmssweb.org] Pasquier: co-editor of the Journal of Southern Religion [http://jsr.fsu.edu] • Raffoul: co-editor of the book series Contemporary French Thought at SUNY Press • Crystal served as an editorial assistant for a book in the series, Ancient Commentators on Aristotle.

Other members of the department serve on the editorial boards of journals: Arai (Religion Compass), Cogburn (Teaching Philosophy), Isbell (The Bible and Interpretation, www.bibleinterp.com), Isbell (Women in Judaism), Pasquier (Religion in American History Blog, http://usreligion.blogspot.com), Raffoul (Research in Phenomenology), Raffoul (The Yearbook of Comparative Literature), Raffoul (philosophy editor of Mondesfrancophones.com).

Three members of the department served as a referee for national or foreign organizations:

Raffoul: regular philosophy evaluator for the Chateaubriand fellowship • Sarkar: referee for the National Science Foundation for the revised version of a proposal • in the area of group rationality, 2010 Song: review panelist for National Endowment for the Humanities, Grant Program • “Enduring Questions,” 2010 Still others served as referees for journals or publishers. These include Cogburn (2), Finley (2), Irvine (1), Pasquier (1), Raffoul (2), Sarkar (2), and Song (2).

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