Give & Take Discussion: An Existential Crisis for the Liberal Arts?

Cash-strapped universities looking to make cuts are targeting liberal arts programs—once the heart of the academy—as prime candidates for elimination. For example, the World Languages Department is being eliminated at West Virginia University. Other public universities have also announced or proposed cuts largely in the humanities, including the University of Alaska, the University of Kansas  and Iowa State University. The percentage of bachelor’s degrees in the humanities dropped from 16.8% in 2010-11 to 12.8% in 2020-2021. Can the liberal arts prove their worth to students who struggle with debt and will graduate into an increasingly technology-saturated world? How can these fields’ champions best fight for them? What do the liberal arts really contribute?

Come join this discussion facilitated by Rachel Arteaga of the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities.

Rachel Arteaga is the associate director of the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities. She recently chaired a national ad hoc committee on English Majors’ Career Preparation and Outcomes, and in that context, she says, “I’ve given a lot of thought to the topic of how those of us who care deeply about liberal arts education and the humanities can effectively address concerns” about it.

Give and Take is structured as a discussion. Please come with ideas and opinions as well as questions, so you can enjoy diving in with our expert facilitator. This program will not be recorded or streamed on Zoom.

Some articles on this topic that you might enjoy before or after the session:

ACCESSIBILITY NOTES: The HUB is fully accessible to wheels and walkers. There is an elevator to the second floor, where this program will be held. Because this session is structured as a discussion, voice amplification will not be used.