Strategic Plan

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Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Louisiana State University
November 16, 2015


The mission of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is 1) to preserve and effectively transmit to undergraduate and graduate students knowledge about the philosophies and religions that have shaped and continue to shape the history and cultures of the world; 2) to develop in our students the ability to read, to understand, and to think critically, systematically, and synthetically; 3) to generate new knowledge and deeper understanding of philosophical and religious matters as a contribution to knowledge in these disciplines; and 4) to make professional expertise in philosophy and religious studies available to meet the needs of the larger community in appropriate ways.


The vision of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is to be a community of teacher-scholars of the highest caliber who work together effectively to accomplish the mission of the department.


  • Discovery: promoting a climate conducive to generating high-quality scholarly contributions in the faculty's respective areas of expertise.
  • Learning: inspiring students to be passionate about learning and intellectually self-reliant.
  • Diversity: fostering cultural and intellectual diversity within the department.
  • Engagement: encouraging service to the university, the profession, and the community.


Discovery: To maintain a publication rate of 2.0 articles1 per faculty member per year over a five-year period (2016-2020), consistent with the average publication rate of the PhD- granting departments of philosophy and PhD-granting departments of religious studies that were surveyed in the 2010 National Research Council report

  • Performance indicator:
    • Average number of “articles” per faculty
  • Strategies:
    • Encourage faculty to apply for research grants to increase time spent on research
    • Supply travel money for presenting research at conferences
    • Conduct an annual review of faculty with respect to research and publication 

Learning: To increase by 10% the number of students majoring in philosophy or religious studies, from an average of 106 per year over a five-year period (2010-2015) to an average of 117 per year over the next five-year period (2016-2020)

  • Performance indicator:
    • Number of undergraduate majors per year
  • Strategies:
    • Gain majors by encouraging students in current classes to take other courses offered by the department
    • Retain majors by requiring mandatory advising for majors and concentrators

Diversity: To increase by two the number of women professorial faculty, from five at the end of spring 2016 to seven by the end of 2020

  • Performance indicator:
    • Number of women professorial faculty in the department
  • Strategies:
    • Pay attention to issues of diversity in future hires

Engagement: To increase the number of service-learning courses offered by the Department, from one in a five-year period (2011-2015) to two in the next five-year period (2016-2020)

  • Performance indicator:
    • Number of service-learning courses offered by the Department
  • Strategies:
    • Identify those faculty members whose specialization is most appropriate for a service-learning course and encourage them to offer such a course

Here the term "article" refers to either a journal article or a chapter in an edited volume. As in the 2010 NRC survey, a book (whether single-authored, co-authored, or edited) will count as five "articles."