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Monday, June 2

An opening in philosophy

Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701

Enclosed is an announcement of a tenure-track position in philosophy at the rank of assistant professor. We hope to fill this position rapidly; the target date for our final decision is June 13. We are more interested in looking at candidates with real teaching experience than in newly minted Ph.D's, who might have unrealistic expectations about the possibilities for academic growth at an institution such as ours. Southeast Missouri State University is a regional university which serves students in the southeast portion of the state including St. Louis. Our students tend to be poorly prepared for college level work, intellectually passive, interested primarily in partying, and culturally provincial in the extreme. We offer a major in philosophy. but do not usually have more than two students officially declared as majors at any given time.

There are a few good students, however, and we are proud to say that our current graduating major, William Knorpp, won the 1985 Analysis competition and will be undertaking graduate study in philosophy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill next year. Mr. Knorpp's upper level work was mainly accomplished through independent tutorials; and prospective candidate must understand that there will be virtually no opportunity to teach upper-division seminars in philosophy. We also offer a religious studies minor; most of the students who declare this minor are shocked to learn that Moses might not have written the Pentateuch and regard higher criticism as secular humanist propaganda. The 12 hrs/semester teaching load is devoted mainly to general education courses at the freshman/sophomore level. In another five years, if the general education curriculum is revised as promised, there may be seminars which are to "capstone" the G.E. program.

The academic environment at SEMO is distinctly non-intellectual, somewhat like a Norman Rockwell painting; and the candidate cannot expect to attract students by offering courses that assume innate curiosity about ideas and books, or intellectual playfulness, or independence of moral and political thought. Nevertheless, in order to earn promotion and tenure it is necessary to be involved in curriculum development and to sustain an interest in research and publication. It has occurred to me that the best candidate would be someone who has held the Ph.D. for more than two years, has taught at a community college or a rural state institution, and who would like to continue in somewhat the same vein but at a slightly higher level.I will be interviewing at the Central Division Meetings in St. Louis. If you have an questions, you may call me at my office (314-651-2186).

Sincerely, Dennis Holt, Chairman, Department of Philosophy


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