Philosophy Department Appointed and Elected Committees 2023-2024
Undergraduate Program Committee Livengood (Chair), Lee, Saenz
Graduate Program Committee Kishida (Chair), Bojanowski, Weaver
Colloquium Committee  Bojanowski (Chair),  Kerr,  Levinstein, Schwenkler
TA Oversight Committee Ben Moshe (Chair), Kerr (Fall), Kishida, Weinberg (Spring)
Placement Committee Ben Moshe (Chair), Scharp, Schwenkler, Weaver, Weinberg (Spring)
Website/Social Media Committee Schwenkler (Chair), Levinstein, Saenz
DEI Committee Weaver (Chair), Levinstein, Saenz
Alumni Engagement No appointment for 2023-2024
Awards and Prizes  Weaver (Chair), Kishida, Levinstein
Philosophy Club Advisor  Lee
Campus Outreach Representative  No appointment for 2023-2024
Advisory Committee  Kevin Scharp (2023-2026), John Schwenkler (2023-2025), Kohei Kishida (2023-2024) (elected 8/21)
Grievance Committee

Nir Ben-Moshe, Kevin Scharp, Kohei Kishida (Spring 2024), Jonathan Schwenkler (Fall 2023). Alternates: (1) Jonathan Livengood, (2) Christopher Weaver. (Elected 8/21)

Alleged Capricious Grading Committee


Administrative Appointments for 2023-2024
Director of Research Kevin Scharp
Director of Graduate Studies Kohei Kishida
Director of Undergraduate Studies Jonathan Livengood
Undergraduate Advisor Seungil Lee

Last updated on August 21, 2023


Set forth below are the descriptions of the 2022-2023 Philosophy Department Committees and Descriptions of the DUS and DGS Positions

Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS): The DUS is charged with the general administration of matters related to the undergraduate program and undergraduate student affairs in Philosophy (including CS+PHIL). The DUS represents the department at any LAS meetings, including LAS Lift-Off, and before any other UIUC administrative body at which the specific interests of the undergraduate program are concerned (unless representation or jurisdiction has been granted to another committee or representative by the Bylaws or Illinois Statutes). The DUS is responsible for evaluating transfer credits for Philosophy courses. 

The Undergraduate Program Committee (see below) works with the UGS to make recommendations for undergraduate honors or award nominations, undergraduate student recruitment and retention initiatives, and proposed changes to the curriculum, especially any that clarify or affect undergraduate educational policy. Undergraduate award recommendations will be made in the first instance to the Awards and Prizes Committee.

Undergraduate Program Committee (UPC)The UPC serves as an advisory body to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). The UPC also consults the DUS regarding undergraduate honors or award nominations, undergraduate student recruitment and retention initiatives, and proposed changes to the curriculum, especially those that clarify or affect undergraduate educational policy.

Director of Graduate Studies (DGS): The DGS is charged with the general administration of matters related to the graduate program and graduate student affairs in the Philosophy Department. The DGS represents the department at LAS and campus-level meetings where graduate admissions, advising, support, or mentoring at the department level are discussed--unless representation or jurisdiction has been granted to another committee or representative by the Bylaws or Illinois Statutes. The DGS is responsible for (1) coordinating the graduate application process; (2) corresponding with prospective graduate students; (3) overseeing the Graduate Student Handbook; and (4) communicating all relevant processes, procedures, and rules to new and continuing graduate students and acting as their first and primary point of contact, until they choose or are assigned a faculty advisor.

The Graduate Program Committee (see below) works with the DGS to make recommendations for graduate fellowships, honors, or other awards, as well as to propose changes to the curriculum, especially any that clarify or affect graduate educational policy. Graduate award and prize recommendations will be made in the first instance to the Awards and Prizes Committee.

Graduate Program Committee (GPC)

The GPC serves as an advisory body to the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The GPC works with the DGS to make recommendations for graduate fellowships, honors, or other awards, as well as to propose changes to the curriculum, especially any that clarify or affect graduate educational policy. 

Undergraduate Advisor

The Undergraduate Advisor serves as the advisor and primary point of contact for all prospective and currently enrolled undergraduate majors and minors in Philosophy, including in the CS+PHIL Program. The Undergraduate Advisor shall, among other things, hold regular and well-advertised office hours throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. These may be in-person, remote, or a combination of both, based on undergraduate demand and campus COVID-related policies. The Undergraduate Advisor is also the department’s liaison to the undergraduate Philosophy Club and the Phi Sigma Tau Honor Society; and can help provide referrals to and contacts with the Career Services Center.

To perform these roles, the Undergraduate Advisor shall consult and collaborate regularly with the DUS and UPC. To properly advise students pursuing a BSLAS in CS+PHIL, the Undergraduate Advisor shall also formally consult, at least twice a semester, with relevant faculty teaching in the BSLAS in CS+PHIL and with the DUS and UPC on these matters.

TA Oversight Committee 

The TA Oversight Committee is charged with overseeing both the performance and the faculty utilization of graduate student teaching assistants (TAs). The TA Oversight Committee shall hold a meeting with TAs in the first several weeks of each semester to emphasize departmental goals, discuss pitfalls and best practices, and develop support networks among the TA's, which should involve information about wider campus resources (including mental health resources, DRES resources, and other forms of support). If the TA Oversight Committee becomes aware of any concerns related to TA performance, TA workload inequities, instructor-TA relations, or other related issues, the Committee should immediately discuss the concerns with the department head in case official action is warranted. Where no official action is warranted, the TA Oversight Committee shall develop recommendations for addressing concerns and discuss with the department head. 

The Committee is responsible for ensuring that departmental faculty who are assigned TAs as discussion section leaders observe at least one discussion section for each TA by no later than the 8th week of a semester and produce, in a timely fashion, a written report/evaluation that is shared and discussed with the student and placed in his or her departmental student file for future reference. Members of the TA Oversight Committee should conduct the relevant observations and evaluations for any graduate student who is teaching as an independent instructor. The TA Oversight Committee shall also review and approve the proposed syllabi for any courses to be taught by graduate student independent instructors prior to the start of each semester.

The TA Oversight Committee will be responsible for making a recommendation, in consultation with the DGS and GPC, to the Awards and Prizes Committee regarding the department’s annual graduate student teaching award. In collaboration with the Placement Committee, the TA Oversight Committee will assist any graduate student entering the job market in preparing a teaching dossier and, at the request of such a graduate student, produce a letter of reference regarding the student’s teaching at UIUC. 

The TA Oversight Committee may also be tasked with organizing meetings or workshops aimed at helping new and/or continuing graduate students improve their teaching; connecting TAs with teaching resources and other resources, including mental health resources, that are available through the College of LAS or central campus; and with making recommendations regarding future assignments for discussion section leaders and independent instructors.

Placement Committee

The primary responsibility of the Placement Committee is to mentor graduate students in their pursuit of post-graduate employment, including possible fellowships or post-doc opportunities. To this end, the committee shall organize activities throughout the year designed to help students understand and navigate the job market (including relevant opportunities outside of the academy and/or the traditional tenure-track system). These activities should include, among other things, workshops designed to aid students in the preparation of relevant job application materials (CVs or résumés, personal statements, teaching dossiers), mock interviews, practice job talks, etc. 

Colloquium Committee

The Colloquium Committee is responsible for the planning and execution of the department’s colloquia, including the Annual Philosophy Public Lecture, traditionally included in the CAS/MillerCom Lecture Series. To this end, the committee shall work with the office staff to make all related arrangements (travel, lodging, meals, etc.) for visiting speakers. In planning colloquia, the committee should aim for a slate of speakers that represent a variety of subdisciplines corresponding to the interests of the department’s current faculty and graduate students and, wherever possible, that reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness in the profession.

Awards and Prizes Committee

The Awards and Prizes Committee is responsible for coordinating review of nominations for the faculty and graduate student outstanding teaching awards, as well as any other competitive awards given out to department members (faculty, graduate students, and/or undergraduate majors). The APC will work in consultation with other relevant bodies in the department on their charge: e.g., the TA Oversight Committee (for graduate teaching awards), the Advisory Committee (for faculty teaching awards), and the UPC and the DUS (for undergraduate awards). The APC will also provide consultation to the department head regarding honors and prizes with associated monetary awards stemming from departmental gift funds. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is responsible for recommending inclusive practices, processes, and initiatives that will further the department’s excellence in research, teaching, service, and community engagement. The committee, over a period of years and through different membership iterations, will lead the department in drafting, implementing, and assessing an evolving strategic plan for DEI that also includes measures for diversifying and promoting inclusive excellence among the department’s faculty, students (both undergraduate and graduate), and staff. Planning shall also include recommendations for fostering an inclusive and supportive culture and climate. For the 2022-2023 year, this DEI strategic planning shall take place as part of larger strategic planning process led by the department head. The committee’s work will articulate with the DEI and inclusive excellence goals found in the LAS Strategic Plan (currently for 2021-2025), the Campus Strategic Plan, and the System-Level Guiding Principles. The committee will include student voices in its membership and recommendations (specifically, at least one undergraduate and one graduate student member). 

Alumni Engagement Committee

The Alumni Engagement Committee shall assist the department head in outreach to Philosophy alumni (both undergraduate and graduate). It shall help to create messaging and communications, including an annual or biannual newsletter, that build community among Philosophy alums. The committee shall also recommend measures for connecting alumni to planned giving opportunities and help plan events designed to bring alumni and current faculty and students together each year, either virtually or in-person, for both social conversation and intellectual exchange.

Website/Social Media Committee

The Website and Social Media Committee, in consultation with the office specialist and department head, shall make recommendations to the department head for modifications to the design and content of the Philosophy Department website. The Committee will recommend content, strategies, and approaches to departmental engagement on the internet and via social media (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). The committee will also study and consider the experiences of both internal and external audiences who interact with the department’s web-based content (including prospective graduate and undergraduate students and alumni). 

Campus Outreach Representative

The Campus Outreach Representative shall interact on an as-needed basis with other campus offices and organizations where Philosophy has relationships or established interests or partnerships. Relevant interactions might include cross-sponsored talks or events; broader interactions with announced programming; and engaging support services from campus offices that can improve the research, teaching, and service missions of the Philosophy Department.