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Statement on Research Expectations
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The following statement was prepared by the committee on the status and future of the profession (Richard Schacht, chair) and approved by the board of officers at its 1993 meeting. Originally published in Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 67, no. 4, pp. 94-96.

Among the duties of members of philosophy departments at all institutions, as in the cases of their colleagues in most other disciplines, teaching is of paramount importance. At many colleges and universities, philosophers are also expected to engage in the various activities that have come to be subsumed under the general rubric of "research"—significant philosophical inquiry and scholarship, and related contributions to the literature of the discipline and the life of the profession. These activities include the development and publication of original work, editing, reviewing, refereeing, presenting papers, taking part in conferences and programs, serving on professional boards and committees, and performing other professional functions. Such expectations are often among the criteria of hiring, retention, promotion, salary increases, and other "merit"-related decisions on the part of departments and institutions.

The American Philosophical Association (APA) welcomes the application of such expectations to philosophers. Research and professional activity support must be commensurate with what is expected of faculty along these lines, however, if such expectations are to be meaningful and reasonable. Such support obviously must be warranted by evidence of the likelihood that it will be well used; but this evidence must be prospective as well as retrospective, in order to enable those who have not already proven themselves to have the chance to do so.

The kinds of support for research and professional activities needed by philosophers today are not insubstantial and extend well beyond basic office supplies. Like their colleagues in other disciplines, philosophers cannot be expected to carry on such activities in the absence of a suitable research environment. This includes a teaching load compatible with such expectations; an office in which such activities can be pursued; mailing, long-distance phoning and faxing privileges; and access to photocopying, personal computer, and printer equipment. These should be regarded as standard conditions associated with research expectations. Other appropriate and usual forms of support for such activities include travel support (to take part in conferences and conduct research); sabbatical leaves; permission to take leaves without pay when fellowships or other such opportunities are garnered; the possibility of obtaining teaching load reductions on other occasions for research-related purposes; provision for research assistants when needed; and publication subventions and assistance with manuscript preparation for publication when necessary.

Philosophers for the most part have few opportunities for obtaining research support from external sources of funding. (Fellowship programs typically provide only stipends in lieu of regular salaries.) In the absence of external funding opportunities comparable to those available in many other disciplines, they are dependent upon their own institutions for the provision of a research environment and forms of support that will enable them to meet institutional expectations of research and professional activity. The APA calls upon institutions to ensure that the realization of these expectations is made possible in these crucial practical ways, and is promoted and fostered as fully as circumstances permit.

At some institutions philosophy departments are provided with pools of discretionary funds for these purposes, while at others pools of such funds are established at higher levels, to which members of their philosophy departments may apply. In either case, it is imperative that the pools be commensurate with the size of the faculties and with what is expected of them. (Where the latter practice is followed, decisions upon philosophers' applications for funds should be informed by their assessment by other philosophers qualified to consider their merit.) The APA recognizes that funds for all academic purposes are limited and must be allocated with care. In the case of our discipline, however, modest investments in the provision of the kinds of support needed for research and professional activity can yield significant results for philosophers and institutions alike.

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