This will be our final NEH Summer Institute (Unless we take action)
With no prior notice or consultation in October 2014 the National Endowment for the Humanities announced that it would no longer be funding NEH Summer Institutes and Seminars that take place outside of the US and its territories. The change in policy has no budgetary justification as there is no indication that foreign-based programs cost more. We have been told the decision is final. In doing so we feel the program has been deeply compromised, as many subjects can only be studied effectively on site. Moreover, it is imperative for us as a nation and a culture to remain engaged with the world around us, and NEH Institutes and Seminars based abroad have been an important part of this, not only by giving educators and researchers valuable experience in the places they study, and enabling them to serve as cultural ambassadors, but because these programs have served as springboards for many collaborations between US and foreign scholars and institutions.
Prof David Perry has been investigating these developments; see his article in The Chronicle of Higher Education and follow up his updates. A petition has also been started that has garnered over 1000 signatures. Many people have been writing or emailing William Rice (Director of Education Programs) and/or writing to their local members of congress. Therefore, if you agree that this policy should be reconsidered, we urge you, whether you apply for this Institute or not, to take action and help us save this inexpensive and valuable program.
By way of comparison: a single Tomahawk Cruise Missile costs approximately: $1,410,000 - enough to fully fund more than 7 NEH Summer Seminars or Institutes.