Duties and Helpful Hints
The TPA President is responsible for organizing the annual TPA
As co-sponsor of the convention, the President’s home institution
is expected to contribute $100 towards organizational costs.
these ends, the President should (in approximate sequence):
- Set the dates for the convention and do so ASAP.
Typically, the convention is held in early November beginning on a Friday
evening, and ending the following Saturday afternoon. The conference is held
in Furman Hall on the Vanderbilt campus. Work with the chairman of the
Vanderbilt Philosophy “public events and colloquium” committee. Seek to avoid
dates that coincide with Vanderbilt home football games.
- Start the process of “recruiting” the Keynote speaker.
Consult with the chairman of the Vanderbilt Philosophy “public events and
colloquium” committee regarding persons you would be interested in recruiting
and as to the honorarium you can offer. It would be generally desirable to
find a speaker who will have broad appeal: someone who has gained enough of a
reputation to be known among a wide range of philosophers. Do not be afraid
to “shoot high.” Well-known philosophers are “taken” early so the sooner you
get on this task, the better.
- Issue a call for papers. Email it to the TPA Secretary
who will post the call on TPAWeb and send the notice to the membership. The
call should specify all relevant parameters including length, format, deadline
(early October?), and mode of submission. (Traditionally, the reading-time
limit for papers has been 20 minutes and that for commentators has been 10
minutes; these numbers are, however, entirely up to the convention organizer.)
- Issue reminders of the call, preferably near the end of
the Spring term (May) and near the beginning of the Fall (late August).
- In late August or early September, ask the Vanderbilt
Philosophy Department’s Administrative Assistant to arrange for a block of
hotel rooms to be available for convention attendees. The Administrative
Assistant will also help with travel arrangements for the keynoter, reserve
the meeting rooms in Furman, and arrange for the food and beverage needs of
- As soon as hotel arrangements have been finalized, ask
the TPA Secretary to post reservation information on TPAWeb and to notify the
membership by e-mail.
- When the papers to be presented have been selected, you
may wish to have the TPA Secretary issue a call for commentators.
- Confirm with the Vanderbilt Philosophy Department Head
any refreshment needs. Traditionally, there is a “spirited” reception
following the keynote, available bagels and coffee before the Saturday
sessions, and a luncheon buffet during the noon break on Saturday.
- Prepare a program for posting on TPAWeb. Print about
100 hard copies to distribute at the convention.
- Introduce the keynoter... and enjoy the great convention
you have put together!
- The TPA Secretary maintains the TPAWeb site and the
membership/mailing list. Send to the Secretary any mailings for the
membership and anything to be posted on TPAWeb. Charles Cardwell (email@example.com)
is the current secretary.
- Vanderbilt is always (along with the President’s
institution) co-host of TPA conventions. Vanderbilt makes a considerable
financial contribution in addition to providing the facilities.
Contact information at Vanderbilt can be found at
- The Vanderbilt Philosophy Department Head should be
involved in setting meeting dates and reserving rooms, kept informed of
convention plans, and consulted regarding all expenses.
- The Vanderbilt Philosophy Department Administrative
Assistant will help with innumerable operational details.
- The chairman of the Vanderbilt Philosophy “public
events and colloquium” committee should also be consulted regarding the
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