Education scholar to highlight future of humanities in public higher education

Published: April 2nd, 2013

Category: Happenings, InsideUF

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Professor Sheila Slaughter of the University of Georgia will visit the University of Florida at 6 p.m. today to give a public lecture on the renewed importance of the humanities in higher education.

Slaughter will speak in Ustler Hall Atrium (the old women’s gymnasium). A reception will follow.

Major state budget cuts in Florida are forcing universities to streamline programs and increase student costs. One significant effect of this is a rising emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and professional fields. This has led to many disparities between these disciplines and the humanities in research universities, in terms of research funding, infrastructure, course loads and student numbers.

Organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, the lecture will describe the unanticipated and negative effects that these policies have had on the quality of teaching and innovation in research universities. In raising these issues, Slaughter will suggest ways in which these damaging trends may be challenged to enhance the fundamental objectives of higher education for all students and scholars.

Slaughter is the first occupant of the McBee Professorship of Higher Education at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education. Her current research examines the relationship between knowledge and power as it plays out in higher education policy at the state, federal and global levels.

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act’s creation of land-grant universities, the lecture is the final event in the “humanizing conversations” series in spring 2013 that address the historical and contemporary context of student, faculty, and public life at the University of Florida.

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