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Oppose Cuts to the National Endowment for the Humanities

A Note from OAH President Alan M. Kraut

Shortly before departing Washington for its summer recess the US House of Representatives took action that constitutes a crisis for American historians and all of our colleagues in the humanities. The House completely eliminated funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Even if a joint Senate-House compromise restores NEH to the budget, its funding--as well as that for the Smithsonian Institution and other federal agencies supporting the humanities--remains in danger of being slashed.

Now, as it has in the past, the Organization of American Historians vigorously opposes such irresponsible cuts.

The NEH nourishes the research and teaching skills of humanists and brings the richness of the humanities to a broader public through innovative and exciting programs. If current efforts are successful, historians and other humanists will suffer insufficient support for their studies, but the general public will feel the deprivation no less acutely. How many museum exhibits would not be mounted? How many documentary films would go unproduced? How many educational Web sites and innovative teaching curricula in the humanities essential to high school, community college, and university instruction would go unwritten or undistributed because of the proposed drastic cuts?

The humanities shape the moral and intellectual values of the young, strengthen global awareness necessary to economic success, ensure cross-cultural understanding required to keep our nation safe, and nurture an optimism about the human condition that can inspire all of us to be better human beings. The humanities are essential to our national well-being and members of the OAH share in the responsibility for preserving federal funding of the humanities.

The OAH needs your help. Please take a moment out of your August schedule to contact your U.S. Representative and Senator and register your support for fully funding the National Endowment for the Humanities and renewing the funding of other federal agencies that support the humanities.

Take action now!

Posted: August 29, 2013
Tagged: News of the Profession, Advocacy