I recall vividly the new world that opened for me when, as an undergrad- uate, I was introduced by a philosophy professor to Plato and Aristotle, Descartes and Hume, Wittgenstein and Russell. Those heady days still glow for me with intellectual excitement and challenge, and they are essential to who I am as a person.
My student days gave me profound respect for teachers and the great influence they can have, enriching the experience of their students in ways that last a lifetime. It is a special pleasure, therefore, to contribute to this issue of Research & Creative Activity, which celebrates Indiana University's 175th anniversary by honoring several of our outstanding teachers, researchers, and creative artists.
Indiana University owes its greatness in part to visionary academic leaders from Andrew Wylie to Thomas Ehrlich; it owes its greatness in part to energetic alumni who have helped to change the world. But most centrally, IU owes its greatness to extraordinary faculty members, such as those in this issue, whose brilliance has shaped our intellectual life.
These are difficult days for higher education. Across the country, universities-- especially public universities--are caught in the crossfire between increasing demand for higher education and decreasing availability of public funds. We must ensure that we are accountable to our various publics: students, parents, and the wider community of citizens, businesses, industry, private organizations, and state government that rely on the university's multifaceted services. As part of being accountable, we must underscore the enormous value to our state and the nation, now and for the future, of the inspiring teaching, creative achievements, and pathbreaking research that take place at Indiana University.
To a greater extent than any other single institution, higher education holds the key to America's future, creating opportunities for individuals and communities that build economic and social well-being. Universities such as IU contribute vitally to economic strength. In equal measure, they contribute other essential advantages that relate to humanistic and intrinsic values. The pioneer founders of our state highlighted the importance of these values when they wrote in Indiana's first constitution the need to "encourage intellectual and scientifical improvement, and improvement of the arts." IU faculty help to fulfill these purposes--and contribute to the civilization of tomorrow--through teaching that prepares future scientists, artists, writers, critical thinkers, and professionals in all walks of life; through research that results in new ideas, new techniques, new industries, and new opportunities for the improvement of our lives; and through artistic and cultural activities that enrich our communities and enlarge the world in which we live.
By means of the achievements of faculty such as those featured in the following pages, IU and other great universities are repositories of the past, expositors of the present, and creators of the future. I join in saluting Indiana University's superb faculty.
Professor of Philosophy