Mission Statement

The study of philosophy as an academic discipline requires the rigorous analysis of arguments regarding fundamental issues of human existence. Philosophers analyze the concepts through which we acquire knowledge of reality and in terms of which human actions and practices acquire value and meaning. In studying and practicing philosophy, students need exposure to both the history of discussions of these topics as well contemporary treatments in order to foster an understanding of how these discussions are related to contemporary life. Thus, philosophy courses require substantial reading, reflection, and writing. Philosophers have a professional duty to encourage critical thinking and analysis among students and the general public. The mission of the Philosophy Faculty of the San Diego Mesa College Department of Social Sciences is compatible with the mission of all professional philosophers. These responsibilities include:

  1. High-quality instruction to all students;
  2. The advancement of student learning;
  3. Engagement in appropriate scholarly activity; and,
  4. The rendering of effective professional service.

In order to assure a high level of teaching effectiveness, professional growth, and service to the college and community, and to advance student learning outcomes, the Philosophy Faculty endorse the following resolutions:

  1. Hiring: To recommend for tenure-track appointment only the best qualified persons, while remaining committed to diversifying our ranks, consistent with College and District policies;
  2. Facilities: To insist that the College and District honor their responsibility to provide high-quality facilities for teaching, meeting with students, preparing for classes, and conducting research.
  3. Curriculum: To develop, improve, and maintain course offerings that prepare students:
    1. For majors in philosophy and related fields, such as the law; and
    2. To fulfill District, transfer, and general education breadth requirements.
  4. Instruction: To pursue teaching excellence and to facilitate student success in fulfilling college, department, and philosophy program learning outcomes by:
    1. Maintaining currency in the literature of the discipline;
    2. Incorporating standard and new pedagogical techniques, as appropriate;
    3. Assigning a college-level text in survey courses;
    4. Utilizing primary sources and secondary sources;
    5. Requiring that, at minimum, all students be evaluated on the basis of writing assignments equivalent to an 80-minute in-class examination, or a 5-page take-home essay;
    6. Weighting at minimum 40% and optimally 50% of a student's course grade on written and, as appropriate, oral assignments;
    7. Maintaining uniformly high standards in the evaluation of student work and the determination of grades;
    8. Creating an appropriate professional environment for individual and small-group student consultations during office hours;
    9. Continuous advocacy that adjunct faculty members receive professional compensation and/or FLEX credit for serving students through holding office hours;
    10. Holding class, convening office hours, and attending meetings punctually, except in case of excused absence;
    11. Observing professional decorum in relations with students, colleagues, and classified staff, both in the classroom and across the campus;
    12. Upholding class enrollment caps, as set by the School Dean, in consultation with the Department Chair [See Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Art. 7.6.];
  5. Scholarship and teaching: To engage in scholarship which includes not only original research, but also the integration and application of knowledge, and the transformation of knowledge through teaching;
  6. Learning and idea dissemination: To continue learning and exchange of information utilizing all available assistance in scholarly activity and maintenance of good professional relations among faculty members within the Department and with faculty in other departments and institutions, such assistance including:
    1. The continued scheduling of tenured/tenure-track Philosophy faculty to teach no more than four days per week during a regular semester, whenever possible, and within the provisions of the CBA, Article VII;
    2. On-going access to available services, supplies, and equipment to the extent that such assistance does not jeopardize the classroom instructional program;
  7. Collegial relations and decorum: To observe standards of professionalism in collegial relations consistent both with a community of scholars in an atmosphere that incorporates all tenured, tenure-track, adjunct faculty, and students. This includes, but is not limited to, upholding equity in scheduling, funding access, committee service, and information dissemination;
  8. Dissemination of intellectual work: To share the results of scholarship with the widest possible audience, through publication, paper presentation, workshop and panel participation, and other forms of communication;
  9. Resource advocacy: To work with and through School, College, District, AFT Guild, and educational advocacy groups, and with state political representatives to increase and secure the resources necessary to enhance and sustain the Department in its mission;
  10. Philosophy advocacy: To participate in efforts by individuals, departments, and professional organizations devoted to the furtherance of philosophy as a discipline and to the improvement of instruction and scholarship in philosophy