The Oakland Tribune tells us that humanities don’t bring in the moolah. But this time, it’s not for graduates when they go onto random careers such as teaching ski lessons or noble causes such as Teach for America, but for UC Berkeley as a university.

One professor claims that funding is the problem:

bq. “We’re in dire need of more funding,” said Dorothy Hale, an English professor. “The sciences are burgeoning on campus, and we love to see it, but the humanities are like the poor stepsister.”

The top humanities departments are in a perilous position. They are strong now, but reducing or not increasing funding could seriously jeopardize their status.

The article states one interesting reason for the difference in funding difficulties between humanities and sciences:

bq. Among the most serious challenges for humanities departments is how to pay for graduate students. Science and engineering departments can use federal funds to pay those students, who also teach courses and help professors. No such funds are available for the humanities.

Former Chancellor Robert Berdahl, who is now the president of the Association of American Universities, is portrayed as trying to light a fire under Berkeley administrators’ collective ass saying they “need to make a stronger case for the humanities.”

Humanities at Cal: High-ranking but low on funding [Oakland Tribune]


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