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Faculty Search for Teaching Postdoc Department of Philosophy University of Oklahoma

Why are we hiring a postdoc?

The Philosophy Department, in conjunction with the Dodge Family College of Arts & Sciences, has created a new position that is an attempt to meet the pressing teaching needs of the department while engaging responsibly with the economic and professional realities of job seekers in the discipline. The best solution—making a tenure-track hire—is not financially feasible at this time. The alternative of hiring instructors on a term-by-term or year-by-year basis is incredibly stressful for those instructors and typically offers very little other than a paycheck to help them advance to more permanent positions. And the alternative of admitting more graduate students to bear the teaching load exacerbates the very tight job market in the discipline still further.

This position is a “teaching postdoc.” The teaching load is 2/2, like many desirable tenure-track positions, and comes with professional support, such as research travel money, teaching assistance and training, manuscript development support, grant writing support, etc. It is renewable for one additional year, providing some stability and time to develop professionally and prepare further to apply for more permanent positions. The hope is that this position offers a helpful and humane stepping stone between graduating with a PhD in philosophy and getting a permanent position in the field.

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Who we are looking for?

Our ideal candidate is a recent PhD with teaching experience, particularly in the areas highlighted in the job ad, and is a dedicated teacher with a commitment to pedagogical approaches that foster the success of students from diverse backgrounds and levels of preparation. They will have demonstrated scholarly excellence through the quality of written work (even if that work is not yet published). They are committed to practicing philosophy in an inclusive and cooperative mode and are interested in conversing across philosophical traditions and sub-disciplines.

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Is this position a good fit for you?

Our department, the University of Oklahoma (known as OU), and our region have a lot to offer. Our department prides itself on its collegial atmosphere and on the integration of knowledge from diverse philosophical traditions. We have a deep commitment to inclusiveness and have long been involved in initiatives to reduce bias in hiring and admissions and to provide better support to students and members of the profession who belong to underrepresented groups. Many of us are active in strategic service across the university with the aim of shifting the institution toward greater inclusiveness. To see the values and goals we have collectively committed to, see our mission statement at the bottom of this page.

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Our campus is regularly rated as one of the most beautiful in the U.S:
20 most impressive historic college campuses by College Values Online
25 most beautiful college campuses by ThrillList 

View campus photos

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OU is located in Norman, Oklahoma, a city of 120,000 with lots of green space, a vibrant downtown, good public schools, and affordable single-family homes near campus. Norman officially brands itself as an inclusive community and holds regular public events and dialogues to assess community needs. An OU faculty member initiated the Welcoming Project, and the rainbow flag sticker indicating welcome for LGBTQ community members is frequently seen in local businesses and faith communities. There are opportunities for worship in many traditions.  

Our many great dining options include several Mexican, Thai and Indian restaurants. Norman hosts several popular events, such as the Norman Music Festival , the Jazz in June Festival, the Medieval Fair, the Summer Breeze Concert Series , the Downtown Norman Fall Fest, and regular Friday Art Walks.

We are located only a few miles from Oklahoma City, which offers countless restaurants, museums, professional performing art companies, and recreational opportunities. Many of us think very highly of Super Cao Nguyen, a wonderful Asian grocery store.


If you’re a fan of college sports, we’ve got you covered. OU has one of the best athletics programs in the nation, with highly competitive teams in football, basketball, softball, gymnastics, tennis and golf.

Those of us indifferent to sports find plenty to enjoy here, too. The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on campus has noted collections of Native American art and Impressionist art, and the university hosts countless fine arts performances in many genres throughout the year. Also on campus is the popular Sam Noble Natural History Museum. This museum exhibits, among many other things, a 10.5-foot Pentaceratops skull, which, according to the Guinness World Record, is the world’s largest.

There are multiple high-quality child-care options for young children, and many low-cost opportunities for kids to develop their skills, including the Sooner String ProjectSooner TheatreNorman Youth Soccer AssociationFirehouse Art Center, and many City of Norman recreation programs.  

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Do you have questions for us?

If you are a recent graduate with a PhD in philosophy and you have teaching expertise in Modern European Philosophy, please look at our job ad at PhilJobs and consider applying. If you have any questions about whether you are right for us or whether we are right for you, or about any aspect of the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact the department chair, Wayne D. Riggs wriggs@ou.edu

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OU Department of Philosophy Mission Statement

In accordance with the mission of the University of Oklahoma, the OU Philosophy Department aims for excellence in teaching, research, and service. In the pursuit of this mission, we aim to create and maintain a thriving community of scholars and teachers. We are committed to maintaining a supportive and open-minded environment in which faculty and students are not just free, but encouraged, to follow their curiosity and their intellectual passions. Mutual respect, an appreciation of the value of diversity, and a commitment to inclusion are hallmarks of the department. We believe that these commitments

  • lead to excellent scholarship, collaboration, and collegiality.
  • lead to engaged and enthusiastic teaching.
  • create opportunities for, and spark interest in, service to the profession and to society at large.
  • model for our students the highest values of inquiry and education.


We are committed to providing our students with a philosophically rich, formative and useful education. We believe that a philosophical education should

  • provide students with the interpretive, critical, analytic, and communicative skills necessary to personal, intellectual, and civic development, cultural literacy, and lifelong learning.
  • provide an integrative learning experience, allowing students to draw connections amongst the diverse theories and traditions they are exposed to.
  • contribute to the experiences necessary for our students to ultimately develop some understanding of the world and their place in it.
  • inspire and sustain both curiosity and wonder.


We are committed to justice in our own policies and practices as well as to contributing to progress in our university and in our profession. To further this goal, we engage in evidence-based, on-going self-evaluation. We believe this commitment

  • creates a dynamic, responsive, and forward-looking atmosphere in the department.
  • creates a departmental environment of transparency and shared vision.
     

We take this to be a guiding principle for all departmental decisions.