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The Research Paradigm

In the 1950s and early 60s, each faculty member was responsible for teaching two semester courses as well as contributing to the Introductory course. As a result of changes that came about during Kleinholz's Chairmanship in1954 it was the expectation that all members of the Biology faculty be selected on the basis not only of their teaching ability, but on evidence of research interests and capability. This was viewed as crucial because it allowed them to be competitive at the national level for extramural funding. In 1954 when Stafford and Siegel were appointed they were encouraged to apply for a federal grant (NSF) before arriving on campus, and both were successful. The National Science Foundation was in its infancy and wanted to encourage research at the undergraduate level and there is some evidence that Reed and Swarthmore were identified as appropriate institutions to test this idea (H.A. Stafford, pers. com.). Reed graduates had already been identified as going on to professional and research careers in large numbers and the awarding of research grants to faculty was seen as a way to further this agenda.

A grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1958 in support of "released time" explicitly for research led to an agreement with the college that each member of the department would be paid 75% from the general instructional budget and 25% from the Rockefeller fund until such time as extramural funding could be obtained. This was usually understood to be limited to the first three years by which time it was expected that outside funding would be obtained by each member of the department. That fund has been added to by various donors over the years and the continued success of faculty members in obtaining extramural funding prolonged the life of the released time fund well beyond the limits of the original grant.

As a result of this agreement the department was able to add positions and thus enrich the curriculum and allow each member to teach only one full semester course in addition to participation in the introductory course, allowing for the "released time" for academic year research. Two forms of the agreement are reproduced below:

(Revised after a conversation with M. Cronyn, V-P Provost, on 6/12/86)

At its meeting of May 12, 1986, the Department of Biology agreed that the funds which accrue to it from the $200 K portion of the bequest from the estate of Mr. Les Ehmann shall be added to the account which has for many years supported the release-time of departmental faculty for research. The account number is 3609.

The primary concern that we all share for the future is for the quality of the faculty attracted to and maintained by the Department. Therefore, all funds which are dispersed through this account in the future shall be used under the guidelines stated below.



1. To support new full time appointments, so that they may develop research opportunities and eventual external support.

2. To support established, previously funded investigators, who for one reason or another are without current support. Evidence of research productivity and of continuing attempts to gain federal grant support will be required for a year by year consideration in this category.


Support under this program shall be restricted to 25% of the salary normally paid by REED COLLEGE for full-time teaching at the rank held by the faculty member. This support will be made on a yearly basis to each new full-time appointment for a period of three years. After that point in time, evidence of research productivity and of continuing attempts to gain federal grant support will be required for renewal of this opportunity on a year to year basis.

The Faculty
The Curriculum
The Research Paradigm
Research Time—Principles and Expectations (1997)
Student Research: The Senior Thesis
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