Monday, November 1, 2010

No time for blogging lately, but here's a roundup of recent humanities-defendin' links.

Here's a bit from the first link, an Inside Higher Ed piece about Cornell president David Skorton's recent call for national support of the humanities:
For a start, he said that it was time for university leaders to push for a halt to the erosion of the budgets of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and to articulate a vision for the importance of the humanities.

With regard to the budgets for the cultural agencies, Skorton noted that they survived attempts in 1994-5 to eliminate them, but had their budgets cut severely. In inflation-adjusted dollars, the endowments are today one-third below where they were in 1994, while the budget for National Institutes of Health has almost doubled and that of the National Science Foundation has more than doubled. The budget for the last fiscal year for the NEH was $167.5 million, and President Obama proposed a small cut, to $161.3 million for this year. (The total NEH budget would be a rounding error in the NIH budget, which exceeds $30 billion.)


Noting the current budget picture, Skorton said he would start with "modest" goals: first halting any cuts in absolute dollars for federal cultural agencies, then seeking money to cover losses to inflation, and then seeking meaningful gains. But he said it was important to start making a case on why the humanities need more support -- and to make that case based on national needs, not just the extent to which such investment would help higher education.

More support. That's refreshing!

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