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V2C2 must support humanities, arts research

By Thresher Editorial Board     2/15/17 8:00am

Several ongoing research projects at Rice University might not exist without federal grants through the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As President Donald Trump threatens to cut funding to the NEA and the NEH as part of his plans to trim the deficit, these projects are now at risk (see p. 1).

Recently, Rice President David Leebron launched his V2C2 initiative to gather ideas from the Rice community in shaping the direction of the university in the next five to 10 years. V2C2 specifically asks students how the university should encourage research, what major new endeavors Rice should pursue, and whether any aspects of Rice’s culture need to change. When answering these questions, remember the arts and humanities. As such, we urge students to complete the V2C2 survey by emphasizing their commitment to arts and humanities research at Rice. Together, we can demonstrate to the administration that current research under threat should be continued and Rice’s culture shifted to place equal value on STEM and the humanities.

Now, more than ever, we need strong support and commitment from Rice as we face the prospect of a diminished emphasis for the arts and humanities on a federal level. Even as the arts and sciences are becoming politicized topics, Rice must remain a beacon of higher education and institution that continues to promote research and learning, with or without federal funding.

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