UVM’s philosophy department currently consists of 10 professors. The department presently has 55 students majoring in philosophy, and 93 students minoring in their school.
By next year the department is hoping to add another professor to their ranks. The department has advertised the position as being available to anyone with a PhD in philosophy regardless of their concentration within the field.
554 applications have been received and reviewed. At this point, members of the philosophy department are currently trying to narrow the field down to 45 applications, which will be examined and discussed by the entire philosophy department faculty in a group meeting. These 45 applications will then be narrowed down by that group of professors, to an applicant pool of 12-15 prospective employees, who will be interviewed at a philosophy conference later this month.
This applicant pool will be subsequently narrowed down to five, or so, candidates who will be invited to the UVM campus to lecture a class and be further interviewed by a group of philosophy department professors who will question the candidates on a number of issues ranging from the candidate’s own work within philosophy to their style of teaching. From this final group, the next UVM philosophy professor will be chosen.
The sheer number of applicants, though initially staggering, is not actually uncommon for the department. Last year when a similar search was conducted over 400 applications were received, and the year previous to that over 600 applications were submitted for another professing position.
When asked what requirements are being sought in the applicant’s, beyond a PhD in philosophy, Professor Christensen, the acting chair of the philosophy department, commented that, “We try to insist on excellence in both teaching and publishing (within the field).” Maintaining that the UVM philosophy department attempts to strike a balance between having the best possible professors and keeping a good class size and professor student interaction environment possible.
UVM currently has one of the best undergraduate philosophy programs in the nation for schools who do not have a graduate philosophy program. http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com ranks UVM in the top six for undergrad philosophy degrees at a college without a graduate philosophy program. The other schools included in the top six are Amherst College, California Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Reed College, and Wellesley College.