Millikin University - Decatur, IL

Dr. Jo Ellen Jacobs

Dr. Eric Roark

Robert Money currently serves as Chair of the Department. Dr. Money earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a B.A. from Furman University. His teaching interests include ethics and ethical theory, political philosophy, the history of philosophy, philosophy of law, and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Dr. Money serves as Director of the Millikin University Pre-Law Program, faculty advisor to Millikin’s moot court teams, and faculty advisor to the Theo-Socratic Society.

Jo Ellen Jacobs earned a Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis, an M.A. at Boston College, and a B.A. at Eastern Illinois University. She studied abroad at LaTrobe University in Australia. Dr. Jacobs has two main research interests, Harriet Taylor Mill and aesthetics. Dr. Jacobs has written two books and several articles on Mill, including The Voice of Harriet Taylor Mill. She has also written articles on the aesthetics of kissing, snow, shadows, suntanning, and music, and edited dictionaries, journals, and a book series in aesthetics. She has twice taught on Semester at Sea and has taken students to Thailand, Greece, Paris, and London.

Eric Roark earned a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. His teaching and research interests include social and political philosophy (especially left-libertarianism), applied ethics, the history of philosophy, epistemology, and John Locke.  Dr. Roark has recently published papers in Political Studies and the Journal of Libertarian Studies.  In addition, he was awarded the Jean Hampton Memorial Prize at the 2007 pacific meeting of the American Philosophical Association for his paper: 'Is Michael Otsuka's Concept of Robust Self-ownership Too Robust for a Left-Libertarian'.  Dr. Roark began teaching at Millkin in Fall 2008.


Our faculty are first and foremost teachers. Our students respond to their philosophy education for three key reasons: (1) philosophy faculty are passionate about the subject matter that they teach, and that passion is contagious; (2) philosophy faculty are rigorous in their expectations, and establish high expectations for their students, encouraging the students to have high expectations for themselves; and (3) philosophy faculty employ an intense, discussion-driven format in which students are engaged, challenged on many of their core beliefs and assumptions, and encouraged to take charge of their own education and their own thinking.


Dr. Money and Dr. Jacobs have won the Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award. Further, Dr. Money was named JMS Educator of the Year in 2007 and has been selected as one of the initial teaching excellence award winners at Millikin in 2007. Dr. Jacobs' teaching was featured in the Millikin Quarterly for summer 2007.


Typical student evaluations say things like: “Dr. Jo Ellen Jacobs is an outstanding professor who well surpasses the expectations I hold for professors.  She has an excellent handle on the material and spreads her enthusiasm to the students.  She also holds high, but fair expectations for the students and creates an atmosphere conducive for the students to accomplish the tasks” and “This class [Dr. Money’s] was one of my favorites. It helped me to independently tackle issues that I never wanted to think about before. My critical thinking skills were pushed further than they have been before.” The detailed and enthusiastic email discussions provoked by Dr. Money’s courses continue after the formal class is over because students just can’t stop thinking about ideas. Philosophy faculty aim to transform and transform they do with happy and startling consistency.


Richard Watson’s wonderful book, Good Teaching, outlines five kinds of teaching:

  1. Bad teaching hinders your learning.
  2. Minimally good teaching at least does not hinder your learning.
  3. Good teaching helps you learn.
  4. Excellent teaching enhances your ability to learn.
  5. Great teaching changes your life.


Watson goes on to say that of all the teachers he’s known as a student and professor—and they number in the hundreds—only two or three were great.  He advises students not to hold their breath searching for such a rare bird. Millikin students have the opportunity of being taught by three who fall in that category, the members of the Philosophy Department.  Neither the teaching awards, the merit raises, the insistence that all students read primary texts, the student evaluations, nor the outside evaluations of their teaching—not even the superb senior theses, Scovill Awards and HURF papers—are as convincing that they rightly belong in this elite category as the personal stories of increased ambition, clarified goals, and broadened characters provided by students who report the expansion of their lives under the guidance of this department.

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL