Humanities Indicators
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Higher Education Surveys

The Humanities Departmental Survey (HDS) is a collaborative effort, developed under the auspices of the Humanities Indicators, to collect and analyze information from humanities departments across several academic disciplines. The Indicators team first developed and fielded a survey of departments in select humanities disciplines in 2008, seeking to answer pressing questions about contingent faculty, gender balance, and other emerging challenges facing the field. A subsequent survey gauged the condition of departments in 2013. These surveys provided a glimpse into the effects of the Great Recession on humanities departments, as well as an overview of the size, demographics, and other characteristics of the humanities enterprise at four-year institutions. In recent years, the Indicators created and administered a survey about the humanities in community colleges and is now developing a third iteration of the HDS examining trends in four-year colleges and universities.

For each of the surveys, the Statistical Research Center (SRC) of the American Institute of Physics served as the Academy’s data contractor, distributed the surveys to nationally representative samples of the institutions, and tabulated national estimates based on the responses.

The surveys received funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with supplemental support from 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 monetary support, as well as their participation and advice.