The Humanities Departmental Survey is a collaborative effort to collect and analyze information from humanities departments across several academic disciplines. Project participants, including representatives from national humanities organizations and disciplinary associations such as the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association, developed a survey instrument designed to bring consistency to already-existing data collection efforts in the humanities. The long-term goal is to create original multidisciplinary trend data that can be used to produce indicators of the state of the humanities in higher education.
The survey has been administered twice, first in 2008 and then again in 2013. In both cases the Statistical Research Center (SRC) of the American Institute of Physics serving as the Academy’s data contractor, distributed the surveys to nationally samples of humanities departments in four-year colleges and universities. The disciplines included in the first survey were art history, English, foreign languages, history, the history of science, linguistics, and religion. The second survey added folklore, musicology, classical studies, philosophy, and communication. The surveys gathered a wide variety of data for each discipline, including the number and nature of faculty; the distribution of teaching loads; the number of undergraduate majors and minors; and other aspects of the departmental experience.
The first survey received funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Teagle Foundation. Funding for the second survey was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Historical Association, American Musicological Society, American Philosophical Association, College Art Association, Linguistic Society of America, Modern Language Association, and National Communication Association. The Academy thanks these organizations for their support, as well as their participation and advice.