The ability to conduct academic research is partly a function of the time
available for it, especially relative to teaching and administrative obligations.
1 For the last decade, both the number of students enrolled at German
universities and the number of full-time professors has remained at
about the same level. The number of wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter, doctorallevel
research assistants, however, has increased by more than half, and
the number of Lehrbeauftragte, those on temporary teaching contracts, has
increased by three-quarters. There is thus no lack of personnel to help
professors meet teaching or administrative obligations, or to assist on
research projects.2 Nevertheless, and particularly in the humanities, German
professors complain about their teaching burdens, about added
administrative tasks their universities place upon them,3 and about what
they see as new pressures to bring in funding or produce results.4 That the
Historikertag, the biannual meeting of German historians, had “Boundaries”
(2010) and “Resources—Conflicts” (2012) as the overarching themes
for its last two meetings seems in keeping with this sentiment.