Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A "Philosophical Climate Survey"

A survey is being conducted about the climate in philosophy departments (having to do with how people feel about the level of sexism, racism, etc.). You can take it anonymously here.

Here's the blurb about the survey:

One of the most important factors when determining which graduate schools to apply to, and what school to eventually attend, is how that program treats its students. While campus visits and correspondence with graduate students can give prospective students some evidence, anonymous reports from current graduate students may also be valuable. Our goal in distributing this survey is to provide another insight about how graduate programs (especially in philosophy) treat their students. In the interest of all prospective graduate students, the survey will not only ask questions about the atmosphere for women, but also the atmosphere for racial minorities, the disabled, and those in the LGBTIQ community. 

An anonymous survey has its drawbacks. For one, there is no way to ensure that all reports are made by actual students of the department. Additionally, any individual report may be inaccurate, and may not reflect how the department actually is. We feel that these sacrifices in accuracy are worth the increased honesty that anonymity may provide. An anonymous survey allows graduate students in their respective departments to voice their opinions without fear that their correspondence will be made public, or that they will suffer any negative repercussions from their university. Any results eventually published from this survey must be looked at with these concerns in mind. 

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