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Statements of Support

n “The Humanities Indicators project is a major and invaluable contribution to American intellectual life. The "condition" of the humanities is a matter of great concern, but we have no map of their extent and no index of the challenges they face in their various settings. Any address to the future of the humanities must begin with the categories, indicators, and basic information that will now become available in one place.”
Thomas Bender, University Professor of the Humanities and Professor of History,
New York University

n “College and university presidents, provosts and deans, who have long hoped for concise and accessible data on the humanities, will welcome the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' Humanities Indicators Prototype. Not only does the prototype offer tremendous insight into the undergraduate and graduate experience of students and faculty, it also offers key datasets on the entire span of the educational experience, as well as the work our students will one day undertake. Among other things, these data will greatly enhance our ability both to understand and anticipate the needs of incoming students and to prepare our students for work in the humanities.”
Lee C. Bollinger, President, Columbia University

n “The good health of the humanities should be a national priority. The humanities help define our sensibilities that will guide us through our lives. Yet we have had few systematic efforts to put into a quantitative form the evolution and oscillations in the study of the humanities and how they are being treated by sources of funding in the United States. Now we are fortunate that the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has begun to develop indicators on the state of the humanities. This work is essential for our national assessment of the humanities. This Academy publication is an essential resource for any faculty members, students, university administrators, and policy makers throughout the United States who have an interest in the humanities. Over time it should occupy a position of importance similar to that held today by the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators. As the project grows over the years, the indicators will provide the basis for heightened awareness of the state and health of humanities and a basis for raising the level of discourse among policy makers about how investments in the humanities and the national welfare are closely coupled.”
Jonathan R. Cole, Provost and Dean of Faculties, Columbia University

n “Penn endorses the activity of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to develop Humanities Indicators. This type of service will help the public, as well as educators and policymakers develop a reliable, quantitative understanding of the role played by the humanities in our society.”
Ronald J. Daniels, Provost, University of Pennsylvania

n “For too many years, the institutions and individuals who sustain the humanities in the U.S. have operated without benefit of accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date statistical information on the status and trajectories of the fields of knowledge they serve. At last, the Humanities Indicators project has appeared, offering a reliable means to benchmark progress in teaching, research, employment, funding, and public interest in the humanities. This first edition is a highly promising start to what one hopes will become an expanding array of information of use to scholars, teachers, administrators, and policy officials in understanding the value of the humanities to our national life.”
Richard Ekman, President, Council of Independent Colleges

n “The Humanities Indicators Prototype marks a bright beginning toward illuminating what have been unduly neglected disciplinary regions on the data map of higher education and its graduates. The Indicators prototype reveals what a wealth of quantitative information about the humanities has gone un- or under-utilized. It reveals as well some significant gaps that deserve to be filled in the information society has about humanists and their occupational histories. The prototype underscores the importance of ensuring that, along with science and engineering fields, the humanities become part of all data collection efforts aimed at giving an account of the intellectual resources the country has available and how those resources are developed and utilized. The project represents a major contribution to the humanities disciplines’ self-understanding and to the understanding of the humanities, both in their home institutions and the wider society.”
Rosemary G. Feal, Executive Director, Modern Language Association

n “The humanities have long served as a wellspring for a vibrant culture and a well-informed society. What's been missing — which the Humanities Indicators now provide—is a consistent way to track how investment in humanities education, be it in religion or another discipline, may correlate with outcomes such as employment of humanities graduates and public perception of the humanities. Because religion, history, literature, philosophy, and the arts vitally inform society, it's vital to have sound data available for those who influence the role these subjects have in school curricula. ”
Jack Fitzmier, Executive Director, American Academy of Religion

n “The debut of the Humanities Resource Center Online and the Humanities Indicators is a signal event for the humanities and for higher education in the United States. Literally for decades, leaders in the humanities community and in our colleges, universities, and research centers have been calling for the collection of appropriate data sets that would permit us to understand scope of the essential activities falling under the umbrella of the humanities in this country. Without such data, proper planning and projection of new programs, as well as support for traditional ones, has been impossible, imposing a serious cost both upon the congeries of disciplines in the humanities and upon many individuals who depend upon the humanities for their livelihood. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is to be applauded for having filled this need with such rigor and breadth. Anyone who cares about the humanities, their past, present, future will benefit.”
Douglas Greenberg, Executive Dean, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University

n “The new Humanities Indicators online resource is a major step forward. Instead of stumbling in the mist, humanities educators will now have access to detailed information that will enable them clearly to map the current landscape and to anticipate new challenges.”
Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University; Past president, Modern Language Association

n “With the release of the Humanities Indicators, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has made a significant contribution to the humanities in the United States. Broad data on the state of the humanities—previously unavailable to the public—is essential for sound decision-making on funding and other policy matters related to teaching and learning in the humanities. The Humanities Indicators dataset is a powerful tool for federal agencies, lawmakers, higher education leaders and other policymakers as they weigh the investments necessary to strengthen the nation's education and research infrastructure through the humanities.”
Jessica Jones Irons, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance

n “College Art Association is greatly looking forward to the presentation, adoption, and continuation of the Humanities Indicators as an essential source of information on the sub-disciplines of the humanities that will not only inform our members in academic, museums and libraries, but will assist the public in understanding the importance of the humanities to all levels in education and to the well being of communities in American life. The Humanities Indicators prototype has taken the first step in measuring and presenting the future needs of the visual arts in the United States by including vital statistics on the sub-discipline of the history of art. College Art Association wholly supports this historic and practical project to bring to the fore the importance of the humanities in American life.”
Paul Jaskot, President, and Linda Downs, Executive Director, College Art Association

n “The Humanities Indicators address two vital needs for our discipline. The breadth of information provides insights into the way history compares and relates to the other humanities disciplines. But the form and structure of the project also opens up new questions for consideration, since each piece of data is placed in a number of interlocking contexts. In the absence of better data gathering by the federal government, this is an essential service to everyone who cares about the humanities disciplines.”
Arnita A. Jones, Executive Director, American Historical Association

n “Now for the first time we have a full, reliable set of data relating to some of the most important indices of behavior in the humanities fields. The website is clearly organized and easily accessible to users, and it should help us to understand the academic field of the humanities in ways that have previously been impossible to accomplish. It will help administrators across the humanities, and in the schools and higher education generally. It will also be of service to individual teacher-scholars and students. And best, from my point of view, it will facilitate the work of those of us who try to understand and influence humanities policy.”
Stanley N. Katz, Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

n “The humanities are an invaluable source of enrichment in all our lives. The study of history, philosophy, languages, and literature deepens our understanding of the world as it was, as it is in our own day, and what it may become for future generations. I commend the Academy for its important contribution to the nation in documenting the extent and quality of research and instruction in the humanities available in today’s society. It will encourage schools and colleges in communities across the nation to improve their curricula and enhance the education of all our students, and the nation will reap the benefit in the years to come.”
Edward M. Kennedy, United States Senate

n “The Humanities Indicators Prototype is an important investment in the future. Until we have a clear picture of the state of the humanities and the extent of humanities activity in this country, we will be seriously handicapped in our efforts to make a case for the impact of that activity. This report is a vital first step in helping us to overcome that challenge. ”
Esther Mackintosh, President, Federation of State Humanities Councils;

n “The Middle East Studies Association of North America welcomes the Humanities Indicators Project! Literature and language, philosophy, religion, art history, cinema, linguistics, and history, all core Humanities disciplines, lie at the heart of Middle East studies. The Humanities Indicators Project promises to provide information that will help us understand how our faculty members are faring in the rapidly changing world of US universities and how our students use their knowledge of the humanistic disciplines once they leave our programs. Tracking professional trajectories and gathering statistics on who is teaching what and with what level of resources are particularly difficult for area studies because our faculty and students find their professional and intellectual homes in wildly different locations. Only a few institutions have departments of actual area studies. Others place their area specialists in disciplinary units. Language and literature specialists frequently wind up in strange hodge-podge departments made up of unrelated members of the linguistic universe. By establishing a framework for the collection of trend data and a method of analysis, the Project will provide us with the information we need to meet the challenges ahead.”
Amy W. Newhall, Ph.D., Executive Director, Middle East Studies Association

n “The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has developed an exemplary project to monitor the state of humanities education. This data will enable educators and citizens to understand where we are and what we need to do to strengthen the humanities in our schools and institutions of higher education. Such information is needed to provide the basis for wise decision-making by educators, policymakers, and institutions.”
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education, New York University; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution and the Brookings Institution

n “Because of the enormous changes that have taken place in education during the past few decades, we know far too little about studies in the humanities at every level, from K-12, to undergraduate work, to graduate school training. There is a good deal of scattered information about the texts that students are now asked to read and analyze, about the kind of essays they are asked to write, and about the extent of the subject-matter that is covered in English, in foreign languages and literatures, in history, or art, or religious studies. But we have no systematic and comprehensive data on these important matters. The sciences and social sciences are absolutely vital to society and to the intellectual growth of individuals. But only the humanities can help us develop and test the clarity of our moral values, or help us to understand—through literature, art, film and other subjects—the experiences and lives of people and places that may otherwise always be beyond our comprehension. We need to know about our own history and traditions in order to know where “we have come from”—just as we need to know about the history, traditions and values of other societies, so that we can work with them and learn from them. The new Humanities Indicators will be a critical, invaluable tool and guide for all of us. It will help us to understand the current state of the humanities, and allow us to see how we can continue to strengthen teaching and learning in many subjects that are vital to the health of our society.”
Neil Rudenstine, Former President, Harvard University

n “This initiative will result in much needed data to inform the national dialogue about the humanities and their role in American life. The humanities are an essential element in a quality education and this initiative will provide valuable information to the public and to educators at all levels who are seeking to develop new approaches to teaching these fields to a much more diverse cohort of students and in the context of a complex and interconnected world. In an era when knowledge is the key to the future, all students need the scope and depth of learning that will enable them to understand and navigate the dramatic forces – physical, cultural, economic, technological – that directly affect the quality, character, and perils of the world in which we live. The humanities are central to meeting this important societal goal.”
Carol Geary Schneider, President, Association of American Colleges and Universities

n “The Humanities Indicators Prototype provides a vital new tool for those who invest in the humanities. Whether diagnosing needs or setting priorities, foundations, government funding agencies, and private philanthropists, will soon find this new source of data — in all its depth and breadth-to be indispensable.”
Marshall S. Smith, Education Program Director, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

n “For many years the American scientific community has relied upon the Science and Engineering Indicators volumes, which have done much to inform national science policy and educational planning. For many years, also, members of the American humanities community have regretted the lack of an analogous set of indicators for their subjects, to help them fully understand current and future trends in humanities education and research and to help guide their responses to the needs of humanities teachers, scholars, and policy makers. The Humanities Indicators Prototype promises to correct this long-felt problem. It gathers — in one readily accessible and easy-to-use source — reliable statistical and other information about humanities education, the humanities workforce, funding and research in the humanities, and, most particularly, the humanities in American life. For this reason, the Humanities Indicators Prototype is bound to become a significant resource for policy makers, educators, academic leaders, foundations, and all those concerned about the condition (and the future) of the humanities in early-21st-century America.”
Michael M. Sokal, Professor of History, Emeritus, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Past President, History of Science Society

n “I am deeply impressed with the Humanities Indicators initiative. At a time when we face a pressing need to combine data and imagination to advance the importance of humanities education and research in American society and indeed in the global community more generally, knowing where we stand and what some key trends are is a vital step.”
Peter Stearns, Provost, George Mason University

n “At long last, we have this invaluable tool to help us understand the humanities even more deeply and broadly. My thanks to all who worked to bring the Humanities Indicators into being.”
Catharine R. Stimpson, University Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Science, New York University

“From basic levels of literacy and teacher training through advanced research at the graduate level, the Humanities Indicators provide a rich and instructive portrait of the nation's strengths and weaknesses in the humanistic disciplines. This will be an indispensable tool for scholars and policy-makers alike.”
Eric J. Sundquist, Foundation Professor of Literature, University of California, Los Angeles

n “The Humanities Indicator Prototype strikes me as an absolute tour de force of assembling data from diverse sources (some of them rather obscure), evaluating their validity, and presenting them in formats that are carefully explained and easy for scholars and policy makers to use. The work as it stands sheds a great deal of light on issues important to anyone interested in the state of the humanities disciplines — and that light will shine brighter as the results of the Humanities Departmental Survey are received and integrated into the work.”
Judy Tanur, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology, Stony Brook University
n “This project represents an invaluable and much-needed effort to provide accurate and detailed information about the state of the humanities in America today. Particularly at a moment when the importance and value of the humanities is so frequently questioned, it is vital to have reliable information about their place in American life. The data compiled by this project will be crucial for educational and policy leaders making decisions about the future of the humanities at individual schools and in national institutions.”
Matthew Tiews, Ph.D., Associate Director, Stanford Humanities Center