Two tenure-track positions eliminated from philosophy department

A student walks in front of Cherry Hall on Feb. 22.

Two tenure-track positions have been eliminated from the philosophy department in the second round of budget cuts, leaving the department with two remaining professors, according to a professor in the department.

Audrey Anton, an associate professor in the philosophy department, confirmed that two professors have recently resigned and their positions have been subsequently eliminated.

Anton said there was “no drama,” and each of the professors decided to resign on their own.

Larry Snyder, dean of Potter College of Arts and Letters, has been contacted for comment but has not responded.

Grayson Hunt, an assistant professor in the philosophy department, “decided to resign on his own,” Anton said. Hunt was on leave from WKU this academic year, according to his bio on WKU’s website, and is currently serving as the LGBTQ program coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin, according to the school’s website.

Hunt was contacted for comment but has not responded at the time of publication. 

Additionally, Benjamin Lennertz, an assistant professor in the philosophy staff, has resigned, according to Anton. Anton said Lennertz resigned because he accepted a position at another university.

Lennertz said his resignation will go into effect at the end of this academic year and will begin his new position in the fall. Lennertz said he accepted the new position for multiple reasons, “both personal and professional,” including better pay and more opportunities for his family.

“I felt very bad that me going means that [the tenure] line is gone,” Lennertz said. “Hopefully it will come back.”

Lennertz said he thinks it is “sad that these financial choices the administration has to make…are leaving the department with less.”

“My hope is that the people who make these cuts…will keep a large part of their focus on the academic curriculum and what’s best for students,” Lennertz said, adding that the administration should consider “what kind of programs are part of a good education.”

Anton said that with these resignations and subsequent position eliminations, there are now two professors remaining in the philosophy department. In addition to Anton, Michael Seidler is a University Distinguished Professor in the department.

Anton said “it’s a shame” that their positions had been eliminated.

“It is really hard to imagine having a philosophy major with less than three professors,” Anton said.

Additionally, Anton said the position of department head of philosophy and religion was eliminated in the first round of budget cuts.

“We don’t have a department head anymore,” Anton said.

Tony Glisson, director of human resources, said he had “nothing to release or share” pertaining to the position eliminations, and that final decisions would be made in “the next few days.”

Print managing editor Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @monica_kast.