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Mission and Strategic Priorities

Mission Statement

The NC State Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is committed to:

  • Offering a high-quality undergraduate philosophy curriculum, including a major and minor in philosophy, that gives students an opportunity to confront through historical and contemporary resources a wide range of central philosophical issues, such as the relationship between the mind and brain, the ethical implications of scientific advances, the justification of moral, political, and legal institutions, the relationship between human knowledge and reality, and the nature of the logic that structures human language and thought;
  • Offering a high-quality undergraduate religious studies curriculum, including a major and a minor in Religious Studies, that provides students an extended opportunity to examine the multiple interpretations of the category “religion” — including religion as a social construction, as an element of psychological development, as a branch of metaphysics, and as a constellation of ritual practices — and the ways in which religious traditions have played a central role in human culture and history;
  • Developing the analytical abilities and expressive powers of its students;
  • Providing and expanding educational and research opportunities in interdisciplinary fields related to Philosophy and Religious Studies at the undergraduate and the graduate level; and
  • Conducting research, teaching and scholarship that further knowledge and understanding in philosophy, religious studies, and related interdisciplinary fields.

Statement of Strategic Priorities

The features of the current NC State Strategic Plan that are most relevant to the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies are:

  • The university’s commitment to excellence in teaching and excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines;
  • The goals of
    • Enhancing the success of NC State students,
    • Enhancing scholarship and research by investing in faculty,
    • Enhancing interdisciplinary scholarship, with emphases in the areas of health and well-being, educational innovation, energy and the environment, and safety and security;
  • The recognition that high-quality interdisciplinary scholarship and research depend upon strong disciplinary foundations.

In light of these features of the university strategic plan, the department’s strategic priorities with respect to potential new faculty appointments are as follows:

  • To restore and maintain its strengths in core fields of philosophy and religious studies;
  • To the extent permitted by the above priority, to seek to make appointments that will enhance interdisciplinary programs and scholarship in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the university, giving preference to fields within Philosophy and Religious Studies that can contribute to the university’s areas of interdisciplinary emphasis;
  • To provide a welcoming tenure home along with academic, scholarly, financial and administrative support to suitably qualified faculty in Philosophy or Religious Studies who are appointed to NC State to contribute to interdisciplinary programs or clusters.