Thursday, October 16, 2014

Save the NEH ... from itself.

At the end of September I wrote a post about the arbitrary decision to end the NEH overseas summer seminars and institutes. It's packed with comments from people whose lives and careers were transformed by such programs.

Now I have a piece at Chronicle Vitae on my findings. They are:

  1. The NEH denies political pressure.
  2. The NEH cites budget issues but does not have any numbers. My research shows that the foreign seminars do not cost more than the domestic ones.
  3. The NEH cites maximum impact but has not done a study on impact. My research shows that the ability to access sites, artifacts, and documents has tremendous impact on careers, far more than domestic seminars (which are also REALLY GOOD PROGRAMS!).
  4. The NEH claims it still has programs that send scholars abroad. They mean flagship high profile scholarly fellowships which typically go only to the most elite professors. NEH Seminars included grad students, adjuncts, community college profs, teaching-school profs, and really everyone. 
I'm staying on this. I have FOIA documents coming in soon. Write them. Demand change. 

Write to William Rice - Director of Education Programs - wrice@neh.gov 

He made this change arbitrarily. He can unmake it arbitrarily.

You could write:

"Dear Dr. Rice,

I am writing to register my objection to your decision to stop supporting overseas Summer Seminars and Institutes.  The overseas programs have transformed the careers of educators in both secondary and higher education, from all types of institutions. They represented the best of what the NEH can do and I urge you to reconsider."

You could also write your Congressional Representatives. The oversee the NEH. Time to put on the pressure.

Because what will they arbitrarily cut next?

No comments: