Dean Fluharty's Message to Faculty on the Proposed Elimination of National Endowment for the Humanities

April 1, 2017

The following is a reprint of a message that Dean Steven Fluharty and Associate Dean Jeff Kallberg shared with Penn Arts and Sciences humanities faculty.

President Trump’s newly-released proposed budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), as well as several other federal agencies, centers, and programs that fund arts, culture, and international education initiatives. Most of us in the Penn humanities community have benefited either directly or indirectly from the support of the NEH. The School of Arts and Sciences affirms its unwavering support for the NEH mission, and indeed of the enduring value of the humanities that form part of the School’s own mission.
 
In anticipation of this announcement by the Trump administration, SAS has already been discussing strategies to combat the closing of the NEH (and the National Endowment for the Arts, and elimination of Title VI funding) with Penn’s governmental affairs office in Washington, D.C., and we will ramp up our efforts in the coming weeks. Penn is also an institutional member of the National Humanities Alliance (NHA), a leading Washington-based coalition that will be undertaking its own advocacy efforts.
 
If you are concerned about the proposed elimination of the NEH, please communicate with your members of Congress to let them know your opinions. The NHA link here is a very easy way to accomplish this.
 
Nothing better captures the importance of the NEH to our basic educational values than the act of Congress that created it some half-century ago. If you haven’t read this, we urge you to do so:  https://www.neh.gov/about/history/national-foundation-arts-and-humanities-act-1965-pl-89-209.