Proposal to Expand the SPEP Executive Committee
[Passed by more than a 2/3 majority in a balloted vote at the Business Meeting in Atlanta, October 9th, 2015]
We are proposing to change Article IV: Board of Directors of the SPEP Bylaws as follows:
Section 1. Number of Directors. The initial Board of Directors shall consist of those persons named in the Articles of Incorporation. Thereafter, the Board of Directors shall consist of six (6) members unless changed by amendment to these Bylaws, except that the number of Directors shall never be less than three (3). Specifically, the Board of Directors shall consist of three (3) ex officio voting members (The President and Executive Co-Director, the Vice-President and Executive Co-Director, and the Secretary-Treasury), and three (3) additional Directors. […]
The proposal is to change the number of the Board of Directors from six (6) to seven (7), increasing the number of at-large members from three (3) to four (4).
Rationale for Expanding the Executive Committee
The primary reason for this expansion is to address the increasing diversity of philosophical perspectives embraced by the Society’s membership. The EC has considered the financial impact of adding an additional member and, with the understanding that conference registration fees will be increased in parallel*, we believe that the Society’s finances would be healthy enough to absorb the extra costs associated with this proposed expansion. In conformity with the process for voting on proposals approved by the membership at the 2012 meeting in Eugene, this proposal will be discussed and voted upon by the SPEP membership at the 2015 Atlanta business meeting. If this proposal is approved by the membership, an election would then be held the following year at the Salt Lake City 2016 business meeting according to the standard electoral procedure for member-at-large slots, with two candidates nominated. That meeting would also include elections for members of the EC whose term has expired.
* The projected cost of an additional EC member is between $3500-4000 per annum. In order to remain fiscally solvent, the EC anticipates the need to increase the conference registration fee by another $5 on top of the already proposed increase and therefore puts forward the 2015 proposal.
November 2, 2012
The justification for the “Iris Marion Young Prize for the Best Paper in Feminist Philosophy” is that Feminist Philosophy is still unevenly recognized by the profession of academic philosophy. Junior scholars in particular may need to provide hiring, review and promotion committees with evidence of the esteem in which this sort of work is taken by their peers, especially in departments in which continental philosophy or philosophical pluralism are not well established. The creation of such a prize would enhance the professional opportunities available to feminist scholars by providing a “measurable” identifier of quality. We believe this kind of gesture is a fitting way to recognize the legacy of Iris Marion Young and her contribution to continental philosophy and to the larger body of American political thought.
The mechanism for such an award would be as follows. Colleagues submitting a paper to SPEP would self-designate as wishing their paper to be considered for the Iris Marion Young Prize. Such papers would be eligible for the regular SPEP prizes (accompanied by a cash award). Once the Executive Committee has completed review of the submissions, those papers that have been accepted onto the program and that self-designate as wishing to be considered for the Iris Marion Young Prize would be forwarded in blinded form to the CSW for review. This review would involve 3-4 days. The Executive Committee will notify the winner of the prize.
Even without a cash award, this prize would be an important mark of professional recognition. As advised by the Executive Committee, the CSW consulted with members of the other committees in developing this proposal and the response was favorable. Future iterations of CSW may seek funding from private donors.
The Membership of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy supports the creation of an Iris Marion Young Prize for the Best Paper in Feminist Philosophy, to be administered by the SPEP Committee on the Status of Women.
November 2, 2012
The quorum necessary for voting on proposals, resolutions, and motions shall be equivalent to 10% of dues paying members at the time that the agenda is published. (For example, this past year that would have set the quorum at 71 people.) Information about the number necessary to constitute a quorum for the upcoming business meeting would be provided to the membership by the Secretary-Treasurer at the time that the agenda is circulated via email and posted to the website.
We make this proposal because currently, what constitutes a quorum at the business meeting is too vague (namely, all those who are present).
All items to be voted on at the business meeting must be distributed to the SPEP membership no less than one month before the date of the business meeting. Since the Executive Committee [EC] sets the agenda for the business meeting, anyone wishing to introduce an agenda item is required to send that item to the Co-Directors no less than two months before the date of the business meeting. The EC will then distribute an agenda for the business meeting, including any proposals or motions to be voted on by the membership, to the membership by email. These items will also be made available on the SPEP website as well as at the registration desk.
We make this proposal so that all members will know in advance what is going to be discussed at the upcoming business meeting, and will therefore have the opportunity to make arrangements to be there for the discussion and vote. On this proposal, new business could, as always, still come up from the floor, but it could not be voted on until the next year’s business meeting. We want to emphasize that this proposal is intended to apply only to voting for proposals, resolutions, and motions, not to our voting procedures for new members of the EC or Co-Directors.
A massive protest movement has emerged in response to an economic crisis, rapidly increasing wealth inequity, and diminishing employment and educational opportunities for an entire generation. The recent financial crisis, facilitated by Wall Street malfeasance, has only exacerbated a devastating decades-long trend that continues to socialize risk and privatize profit. This trend toward increasing economic injustice has disproportionately affected communities of color and left tens of millions homeless, jobless, and overburdened with student loans and underwater mortgages.
As educators and students, we have witnessed decreases in state funding for education, coupled with increases in tuition costs, the privatization of research, the commodification of campus spaces, the use of precarious and part-time positions, and attacks on collective bargaining. This has had a disciplinary effect on educators and students alike, hindering the pursuit of higher education, open and critical inquiry, as well as democratic participation.
SPEP stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, which represents a direct challenge to these social and political inequities and economic injustices, as it reclaims social spaces for democratic deliberation and participation and pushes back against a growing suspicion of social solidarity and the public good. SPEP encourages its members to support these principles and practices in the Occupy movement through any and all of the unique resources available to them.
The passage of the following resolution is not intended to endorse the methodologies or conclusions of the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy but to express, on behalf of the SPEP membership, appreciation of and support for the efforts of the Pluralist’s Guide to inform prospective students about graduate programs friendly to philosophical pluralism. For a statement regarding SPEP’s position on all ranking statements see: http://www.spep.org/?page_id=78.
Proposal for Resolution for SPEP Members Regarding the Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy (accepted, with amendments, 10-21-2011 at the SPEP Business Meeting)
I. The membership of the Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy supports the independent efforts of the new Pluralist’s Guide to Philosophy to:
- provide new sources of information on areas of philosophy that remain underrepresented in most doctoral programs in the discipline and
- provide information on the conditions for women and minorities in graduate philosophy programs.
The membership of SPEP has long championed pluralistic approaches to philosophy, as well as increased diversity in a field that continues to have the lowest representation by women and people of color compared to all other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
II. For the same set of reasons, the membership also supports the new APA-sponsored Guide to Graduate Study in Philosophy, which complements the Pluralist’s Guide by providing a comprehensive survey of all Ph.D. and M.A. graduate programs in the U.S. It includes concise information on women and people of color among faculty and graduate students as well as figures on average number of years to completion of the degree and placement data, while furnishing a profile of departments’ distinctive emphases.
III. We commend those committed to providing enhanced information about doctoral programs in philosophy in the US, as well as those working to promote diversity in the profession. While we appreciate those who have engaged in constructive dialogue about both Guides and their production, we condemn the incivility that has marked some criticisms, especially ad hominem attacks on the Pluralist’s Guide’s organizers and contributors as well as on SPEP and its membership despite the latter’s independence from the construction of this Guide. We are grateful to the authors of and contributors to both Guides for their work. Philosophy currently faces unprecedented marginalization within the academy; we support efforts to move past archaic divisions and find common ground.