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  • Danger Signs for the Academic Job Market in Humanities? - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    less frequently listed than academic ones Nonetheless in a forthcoming paper Jeffrey Groen an economist at the U S Bureau More March 3 2015 The Usefulness of Societies Job Listings Data posted by Ronald G Ehrenberg There are many reasons to be cautious when using scholarly societies job listings as data about the job market for new PhDs In addition to those mentioned in the report they include the fact that academic listings are for all ranks not just new assistant professors that the same job may be listed multiple times during a year that the aggregate numbers tell us nothing about the types of academic jobs listed tenured tenure track full time nontenure track part time nontenure track and that nonacademic positions may be less frequently listed than academic ones Nonetheless in a forthcoming paper Jeffrey Groen an economist at the U S Bureau of Labor Statistics and one of the authors of Educating Scholars Doctoral Education in the Humanities 1 presents substantial evidence that societies job listings data are useful measures of the demand for new PhD recipients 2 Using up to thirty years worth of job listings data for each of seven fields anthropology classics economics English history philosophy and political science Groen shows that the movement of these series over time are correlated with a set of variables that plausibly should influence the demand for new PhDs These correlations include the national unemployment rate negative state appropriations per full time equivalent student at public academic institutions positive expenditures per student at public academic institutions positive and average faculty salary levels positive Furthermore using job outcomes data for new PhD recipients from the Survey of Earned Doctorates as measured by their responses to a set of questions regarding whether respondents have definite plans for employment or postdoctoral study as of the date of the survey Groen finds after controlling for other variables that job listings measures for the seven disciplines are positively correlated with respondents likelihood of having definite plans for employment and postdoctoral study Together these two types of evidence suggest in his words that the number of job listings is a credible measure of the demand for new doctorate recipients With this established Groen then estimates whether the demand for new doctorates in the seven fields has any impact on decisions by existing PhD students to complete their degrees in a given year or to continue on in their PhD programs His estimates suggest that holding other factors constant the number of job listings in a field is uncorrelated with both the probability that a student completes his or her PhD and with expected time to degree He concludes that cyclical variation in labor demand is not responsible for observed changes over time in average times to degree Another important issue is whether the number of job listings in a field in a given year has any impact on the number and academic quality of new students who enroll in PhD study in the field

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=21673 (2016-02-13)
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  • The Vitality of the Humanities in U.S. Community Colleges - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    will advance greater numbers of students with undergraduate and graduate degrees for America s prosperity in the 21st century Looking at the facts more than a third of associate s degrees are awarded in subjects that require a significant humanities course load 3 Exposure to the humanities in the first two years of college as a significant component of general education provides the intellectual framework for students to compare and contrast the viewpoints of those different from themselves and to delve into the learning spheres of analytical reasoning problem solving and decision making to tackle the very real problems facing their communities and the greater society In a recent survey the American Association of Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of CEOs want to hire individuals who demonstrate the capacity to think critically communicate clearly and solve complex problems capabilities more important than their undergraduate major More than nine in ten of those surveyed say it is important that those they hire demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity intercultural skills and the capacity for continued new learning 4 Unfortunately the collaboration so urgently needed between the arts humanities sciences and business has fragmented into ever more disparate pieces over the last decade when their interaction and integration should be encouraged to spur innovation entrepreneurship and creativity to drive our nation forward In the decades ahead our nation will need more Americans with college degrees who are well versed in the histories and opportunities to address the major societal challenges of our democracy and the world not the least of which include the education levels of children income inequality the social economic and civic needs of diverse communities globalization innovation and American competitiveness Interdisciplinary thought leadership and collaboration will be more important than ever in crossing boundaries to address the local regional national and global problems ahead of us When Tom Ehrlich spoke about the pathways to ethical and engaged citizenship at Miami Dade College in 2009 he said college learning must be about much more that knowledge knowledge that may be obsolete in just a few years Most important it must be about learning how to learn and to keep on learning At its core that is what a liberal education does it liberates our minds to learn 5 We should look to the evidence embrace the liberal arts as a necessary foundation for postsecondary education in all fields of study and figure out how to give our students the best possible opportunities to discover themselves their place in the world and how they can contribute to improving their own lives and the lives of their communities In doing so we will be part of the American dream we wish to realize for ourselves and future generations Martha J Kanter Ed D is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Higher Education at New York University and former U S Under Secretary of Education from 2009 through 2013 ENDNOTES 1 U S Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=21650 (2016-02-13)
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  • How Long to the Humanities PhD? - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    measure of time to degree TTD hereafter It substitutes the number of years individuals spend in doctoral programs for the conventional measure of time elapsed between earning the bachelor s and doctoral degrees Despite this advance doubts remain about the validity of measures used to gauge TTD This essay compares years in program YIP hereafter to other TTD measures notes the omission of completion rates and comments on the decomposition of YIP into time spent on coursework and dissertation writing YIP is calculated from responses provided in a special run for the Humanities Indicators on the Survey of Earned Doctorates SED It eliminates overestimates of TTD due to including time spent since college on activities unrelated to graduate programs YIP desirable as it is remains problematic It uses data assembled for completion cohorts that is students who finished the Ph D in the same year rather than for entering cohorts students who began graduate study in the same year Its results are biased because it fails to register changes in median TTD due to variations in the size of cohorts seeking the Ph D in successive years It also does not take into account the likely truncation effects in recent years caused by the inclusion of fast but not slow finishers Changes in cohort size independently affect medians calculated on completion cohorts according to Ansley Coale s stable population theory 1 and its application to TTD by William G Bowen and Neil L Rudenstine 2 Cohorts of Ph D completers in a given year consist of students who began their studies at different times some of whom finished rapidly and others slowly 3 When the size of successive completion cohorts of degree seekers changes quickly or substantially median YIP also changes as a result For example if the number of degree seekers falls in successive years the absolute number of students who finish rapidly will also decline assuming no underlying behavior change leading median YIP to rise over time Conversely if the numbers of degree seekers increases in successive years the number of rapid finishers will also increase and median YIPs will fall In both cases measured changes in YIP will reflect changing cohort size not necessarily behavior changes 4 Using data on completion cohorts rather than on entering cohorts derives in part from the ease of collecting completion data It assumes that changes in the number of candidates seeking the degree are slow and negligible and thus unlikely to cause measurement problems We know however that the size of entering cohorts increases and decreases often quite sharply e g owing to deteriorating or improving job opportunities or political upheavals The second potential problem associated with the use of completion cohorts is the effect of truncation sometimes called right censoring Median years in program are lower in data for recent years because they include faster completers but exclude those who have yet to finish despite having started graduate school at the same time Truncation may explain reductions in observed YIP toward the end of the decade under consideration Comparisons of TTDs have been used to evaluate the state of graduate education and interventions or the need for them For those purposes measurement of TTD should include completion rates 5 and avoid the pitfalls associated with external changes in entering cohort size and especially with over representation of fast finishers Cumulative completion rates CCRs hereafter are calculated based on the percentage of students who entered at the same time and who have completed degrees each year since they began 6 CCRs allow comparisons of how fast any given percentage finishes e g half or three fourths and when completion rates level off By truncating CCRs at the number of years of data available for the most recent cohorts the fast finisher bias associated with median TTD in more recent time periods is eliminated For example Figure 1 illustrates changes in CCRs in ten universities in the humanities in two periods 7 CCRs provide a fuller understanding of changes occurring in median TTD and facilitate comparisons of the percentages of entering students who completed degrees in successive years Also based on responses to a special run in the SED these data show that Ph D s in the humanities and social sciences spend more YIP on coursework than Ph D s in the sciences the former averaging four years as compared to the latter s two to three years The data show a surprising similarity among fields in the share of YIPs spent on the dissertation A cursory look at the published Ph D requirements by five universities in physics and history provides clues to why fields differ in time spent in course taking Some physics departments do not specify any course requirement others require a minimum number e g four to six courses Some allow proficiency to be demonstrated in lieu of courses One requires exams be taken by the fourth semester By contrast history department requirements are heavy and specific Two or three courses are required each semester completion of research and seminar papers and mastery of two or more languages are routine exams and dissertation proposals are often expected by the fourth to sixth semesters Our research on the humanities is germane it points to marked differences in shares of time spent on coursework and on researching and writing dissertations within the humanities Although the time students spent in advancing to candidacy fell in response to the Mellon Initiative time devoted to the dissertation did not vary despite Mellon s support for its reduction Both the Humanities Indicators finding of similar shares of time spent on the dissertation among fields and our findings of differences within the humanities remain puzzling Among the reasons given for long times spent on dissertations were high faculty expectations students need to work to supplement incomes students efforts to write publishable papers and students strategic decisions to delay their graduations to avoid having stale degrees when seeking jobs 8 In light of the fast

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=21633 (2016-02-13)
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  • Slicing the Pie: Explaining the Distribution of Funds at NEH - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    work that the NEH supports is relevant to communities around the country Only then will we be able to foster a broader and deeper base of support leading to increased political support for a more robust Endowment Stephen Kidd Director of the National Humanities Alliance October 21 2014 A Multitude of Benefits from Federal State Partnership Program posted by Esther Mackintosh The interdependent and complementary programs that make up the NEH funding pie are vital to carrying out the goal of strengthening the nation by supporting humanities research and learning But each wedge of that pie also has its own discrete value The funding More October 21 2014 A Multitude of Benefits from Federal State Partnership Program posted by Esther Mackintosh The interdependent and complementary programs that make up the NEH funding pie are vital to carrying out the goal of strengthening the nation by supporting humanities research and learning But each wedge of that pie also has its own discrete value The funding allocated to the state humanities councils represented in the Federal State Partnership wedge of the pie yields a multitude of benefits Two warrant particular note The first is the broadened awareness of the humanities that involvement in council programs makes possible Council programs engage millions of people each year The reach extends from communities of a few hundred people in remote areas to densely populated and often hard to reach urban neighborhoods The programs themselves are also wide ranging involving direct experience of humanities texts under the guidance of a scholar facilitator content based professional development for teachers study of history through exhibits and related discussions public lectures by humanities scholars and community discussions of contemporary issues that use humanities scholars and methods Through these and many other formats employed in council programs Americans come to experience and appreciate the ways the humanities can help them make sense of their own lives address the issues that challenge their communities and navigate the interconnected world we live in In practical terms the reach of these programs also increases support for the humanities among funders including Congress Members of Congress like nothing better than programs that directly affect their constituents which humanities council programs do in concrete and visible ways At a recent public witness hearing in the House a prominent Republican subcommittee member told a witness I am supportive of your programs but I need to hear from my constituents that they want these programs to continue At critical moments in the history of the NEH humanities advocates have been able to ward off threats to the agency from hard core budget cutters by pointing to programs in their backyards that are valued by the citizens of their districts and by encouraging those citizens to tell their members of Congress why these programs matter Second the Federal State Partnership funds like all NEH funds are multiplied at the local level through matching and leveraging What distinguishes council funding however is that it reaches communities in every corner

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=21629 (2016-02-13)
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  • Enclosed in a College Major? Variations in Course-taking among the Fields - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    the humanities about 17 as defined here than in STEM fields about 13 STEM majors earn fewer credits in the humanities More August 18 2014 Toward Breadth in Baccalaureate Education posted by John G Hildebrand Those of us who teach undergraduates are familiar with the trend revealed in these data Baccalaureate graduates typically have earned more course credits in the humanities about 17 as defined here than in STEM fields about 13 STEM majors earn fewer credits in the humanities than do students majoring in other areas and students majoring in the humanities business social sciences and education apparently earn no more than a required minimum of their credits in STEM courses This picture has puzzled me throughout my career Why do STEM students avoid humanities courses and students in non STEM majors avoid STEM courses Often repeated explanations include STEM courses are hard not interesting not relevant to the student s interests and or boring there isn t room in a STEM student s demanding curriculum for more humanities humanities courses won t help a STEM student achieve her goals and get a job and STEM courses aren t important for a humanities student s goals It seems to me that all of these excuses point in the same general direction we the faculty fail to make clear why breadth in general education is important and how courses outside a student s areas of primary interest can be valuable We fail to design and offer high quality STEM and humanities courses that are appealing interesting and engaging to the students as well as appropriate as general education courses as opposed to the introductory courses required for most majors And we fail to make room in baccalaureate curricula for more courses outside a student s major I think we do a fairly good job of preparing students to build careers in special fields represented by the majors they choose Thus American colleges and universities produce well trained and skilled graduates in fields as diverse as accounting chemistry instrumental music molecular biology premedical studies psychology and political science But do we do as well in educating our students to be good citizens who will live rewarding and enriched lives We should want our graduates to be able to understand articles in the popular press about politics and advances in STEM fields to recognize and understand references to literature in what they read to be numerate and to have some appreciation of the fine arts We should want our students to become informed and responsible voters From my perspective as a STEM faculty member who cherishes the arts and humanities as well as interdisciplinary experiences and thinking the challenge is quite clear I cannot express it more effectively than my good friend and colleague Jerrold Meinwald who wrote in his preface to Science and the Educated American A Core Component of Liberal Education the book we co edited in 2010 for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences available online Clearly we

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=1571 (2016-02-13)
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  • Foundation Funding to the Humanities Fell During Recession - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    aggregate data we need benchmarks but larger questions remain about the reasons foundations support the humanities and the role foundations play in a philanthropic ecosystem that includes other private and public funding sources James Allen Smith Rockefeller Archive Center June 19 2014 Missing Pieces in the Foundation Funding Data posted by Stanley N Katz The overall pattern shown by the change in foundation giving to humanities activities seems clear enough There was a substantial increase in the percentage of humanities giving in relation to all foundation giving from 2002 to 2007 43 percent then a decline of 18 percent over the next More June 19 2014 Missing Pieces in the Foundation Funding Data posted by Stanley N Katz The overall pattern shown by the change in foundation giving to humanities activities seems clear enough There was a substantial increase in the percentage of humanities giving in relation to all foundation giving from 2002 to 2007 43 percent then a decline of 18 percent over the next five years with the result that the percentages in 2012 were much the same as a decade earlier That means that the declines the humanities suffered in the period of the Great Recession were recovered in the three years after the recession but not more On the surface this is not a bad performance But 2002 is an odd baseline year since it followed a very serious decline in foundation giving for more than a year previously So even the 2007 number is not very impressive And the modest gain in 2012 is at least somewhat disappointing given the rapid rise of stock market values since 2009 and the consequent substantial increase in foundation assets Net foundation assets were about 435 000 000 in 2002 and rose to about 662 000 000 by 2012 The conclusion would seem to be that overall foundation growth did not benefit the humanities proportionately This is however not a surprise since the same period of time witnessed the emergence and expansion of a new class of megafoundations foundations with net assets of 1 billion or more and these new behemoths have displayed little interest in the humanities But these numbers do not tell us much We know from Indicator IV 8a that two areas of humanities activity benefitted most in 2012 museum activities 26 percent and historical activities 19 percent This means that at a minimum 45 percent of foundation funded humanities grants went to cultural institutional support probably mostly for museums and probably mostly historical This is a narrow segment of overall humanities activity What the numbers do not tell us is how the foundation grants relate to other types of institutional support for the humanities In the academy the bulk of humanities support comes from often restricted individual gifts to colleges and universities If those gifts are made through family foundations the larger ones are probably included in this data but smaller ones are not This means that we have little idea of how such giving

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/dataForumEssay.aspx?i=1491 (2016-02-13)
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  • Humanities, Arts, and Education — Projects - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    examined the subsequent cultural implications The Center for Evaluation 1994 2003 After an examination of research literature showed that evaluations of many educational interventions were nearly useless because they provided little reliable information about whether programs worked the Academy created The Center for Evaluation to apply meta analysis to the problem Researchers extracted information from experimental data from multiple sources to analyze studies on topics such as optimum class size and grouping students according to skill levels Changing Student Demographics in Colleges and Universities 1999 2001 This study explored the impact of growing racial and ethnic diversity on college and university campuses and the responses of faculties and administrative leaders to these demographic changes Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education Chair s Roger W Ferguson Jr and Michael S McPherson 2015 Drawing from national leaders in education business and government this Academy commission will study the current state of undergraduate education across all institution types e g community colleges for profit institutions four year universities in order to project the nation s education needs in 20 to 30 years and offer recommendations to keep these forms of education accessible to Americans of every socioeconomic background Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences Chair s Richard H Brodhead and John W Rowe 2010 The goal of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences is to claim a space in the national dialogue for the humanities and the social sciences and to recommend specific steps that government schools and universities cultural institutions businesses and philanthropies can take to support and strengthen these areas of knowledge Commission on Language Learning Chair s Paul LeClerc 2015 In response to a bipartisan request from members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives the Academy has created a national commission to examine the current state of language education to project what the nation s education needs will be in the future and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs Confrontation and Learned Societies 1969 1970 In 1969 the American Council of Learned Societies of which the Academy is a founding member convened its annual meeting to examine confrontation and challenges to the value of scholarship in society inspired by the dissident rebellions at institutions of higher education in 1968 Ethical Aspects of Experimentation on Human Subjects 1966 1970 With new surgical techniques like heart transplants becoming indispensable tools in prolonging human life the issue of human experimentation became a matter of increasing public interest The Academy created an interdisciplinary working group to study the ethics of human experimentation and the working group s papers were initially published in Dædalus in 1969 Ethnicity 1972 1975 In 1972 when the word ethnicity was first introduced to the Oxford English Dictionary the Academy convened a conference with the goal of assessing this widespread phenomenon which was becoming an important and explanatory factor in the political arena throughout the world Financial Literacy and the Educated American Chair s Gerald Rosenfeld 2010 2014 This project

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/research/projectList.aspx?i=372&ra=Humanities,%20Arts,%20and%20Education (2016-02-13)
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  • Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education - American Academy of Arts & Sciences
    on the Future of Undergraduate Education Higher education continues to be one of the most important avenues of opportunity in American society But the education landscape is changing rapidly There are more options for how and when Americans receive some form of higher education New populations for whom the traditional four year degree was once an impossibility can now pursue undergraduate education in two year four year for profit and online institutions according to schedules that fit their own lives And technological advances offer new approaches to student instruction and collaboration At the same time rising costs are challenging the affordability of traditional postsecondary degrees The American Academy is beginning a three year project to examine the state of postsecondary education in America and to provide ideas for how to ensure that individual Americans receive the education they need to thrive in the twenty first century To make sure that the Commission has a clear direction at the outset the Academy will begin the project by compiling a comprehensive and data rich portrait of American postsecondary education incorporating quantitative and qualitative studies that examine every type of postsecondary institution from early college high schools to private universities Support for the Commission is provided by a 2 2 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York Members of the Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education Chairs Roger W Ferguson Jr TIAA CREF Michael S McPherson Spencer Foundation Members Joseph E Aoun Northeastern University Deborah Loewenberg Ball University of Michigan School of Education Sandy Baum Urban Institute Rebecca M Blank University of Wisconsin Madison John Seely Brown formerly Xerox PARC research Carl A Cohn Claremont Graduate University Mitchell E Daniels Jr Purdue University John J DeGioia Georgetown University Jonathan F Fanton American Academy of Arts and Sciences Robert Hormats Kissinger

    Original URL path: https://www.amacad.org/content/Research/researchproject.aspx?i=21999 (2016-02-13)
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