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APA joins 20+ associations to issue statement opposing proposed program cuts at UW Stevens Point

Thursday, March 15, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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APA joins 20+ associations to issue statement opposing proposed program cuts at UW Stevens Point 

NEWARK, Del. — Mar. 15, 2018 —Today the American Philosophical Association, along with more than 20 other learned societies, issued a joint statement in opposition to the proposed program cuts at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. The statement reads as follows:

The undersigned associations urge the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point administration to reconsider its recommended elimination of thirteen undergraduate majors, most of which involve key humanities and social science programs.

We recognize the reality that effective university leaders today must not only make changes, but in some cases fundamentally reimagine their institutions in order to chart a sustainable course for the future. However, all colleges and universities benefit from strong programs in the humanities, and it is especially important for regional public institutions, which serve large populations of first-generation college students, students of color, and students from families of limited means, to provide access to in-depth education in the full range of humanities and social science programs.

The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point proposes increasing resources for programs “in areas with high-demand career paths” such as Fire Science and Aquaponics, while eliminating majors in American Studies, art, English, French, geography, geoscience, German, History, music literature, philosophy, political science, sociology, and Spanish. There is convincing evidence that college graduates can be expected to change careers—not just jobs, but careers—several times in their working lives. By focusing on preparation only for narrowly defined jobs, Stevens Point administrators risk leaving students with considerably poorer preparation for the full range of careers most Americans will experience in a working lifetime.

Access to humanities studies is essential for all students, no matter their career paths, as is the opportunity to major in these disciplines. It is deeply misguided to eliminate humanities majors based on an inaccurate presumption that they do not prepare students for high-demand careers. Technology and business leaders continually affirm the value of humanities degrees, and employment rates and job satisfaction among humanities majors rival those in STEM and business fields, according to data from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. We find it especially important that humanities and social science majors be available to students in public universities, and we urge Chancellor Bernie Patterson and Provost Gregory Summers to reconsider this plan, which would irreparably damage liberal arts education at a key public university.

American Academy of Religion

American Anthropological Association

American Comparative Literature Association

American Folklore Society

American Historical Association

American Musicological Society

American Philosophical Association

American Political Science Association

American Schools of Oriental Research

American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

American Society for Environmental History

American Sociological Association

CAA – Advancing Art and Design

College Music Society

Latin American Studies Association

Linguistic Society of America

Medieval Academy of America

Modern Language Association

National Communication Association

National Council of Teachers of English College Forum

National Council on Public History

North American Conference on British Studies

Organization of American Historians

Rhetoric Society of America

Shakespeare Association of America

Society for American Music

Society for Ethnomusicology

Society of Biblical Literature


About the APA

Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association promotes the discipline and profession of philosophy, both within the academy and in the public arena. The APA supports the professional development of philosophers at all levels and works to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the value of philosophical inquiry.


Amy Ferrer
Executive Director


This press release is also available as a Microsoft Word document.

The American Philosophical Association
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