Letter to President Elsener #2

Dear Sirs:

I was recently deeply distressed to learn that you are considering eliminating the Political Science Department at Marian. Political Science is one of the central disciplines in the liberal arts curriculum. To eliminate it would be to significantly lower the quality of a Marian education and degree. From a practical point of view, as someone who has served on boards overseeing accreditation, the elimination of this program will pose significant risks for your institution when you next come up for review. Moreover, should you try to reinstitute it under another name, you will likely face liability claims from any of those faculty you have let go. However, perhaps the chief reason to reconsider this decision is that it would fly in the face of the Franciscan character of your institution. The greatest Franciscans after the founder of the order, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham were among the founders of what we today take to be political science. I’m frankly astounded that you would even consider such a move and urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider what seems to me to be a disastrous decision.

Michael Allen Gillespie
Professor of Political Science
and Professor of Philosophy
Box 90204 Duke University
Durham NC 27708