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NEH Chair Resigns

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The Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities today announced his resignation, effective tomorrow (May 23). This is troubling. Endowment chairs have four-year terms which do not necessarily coincide with the President's. Adams' term extended through March 2018, but there are ways to force these people out. They can be fired for cause (a la Comey at FBI). Or they can be told that all of the political appointments (Schedule C) will be immediately terminated, as they serve at the pleasure of the President, leaving the Chair with none of his closest staff. That's how they forced out Joe Duffy in December 1981 so Bill Bennett could take over. I have not seen a resignation statement from Jane Chu at NEA, but will post if that's announced. (Should I worry that the NEA web site has been off-line all day?)

 

Here is the NEH press release: https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-05-22

 

The National Humanities Alliance (the DC lobbying group on behalf of the humanities) sent out this statement this morning:

"National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Bro Adams announced his resignation today, effective tomorrow, May 23. We are deeply grateful to Chairman Adams for his leadership over the past three years. During his tenure he has launched innovative grant programs and been an outstanding steward of the agency and a welcome presence in communities around the country.

"Deputy Chair Peggy Plympton will serve as Acting Chair until a new chair is appointed as part of the new administration’s transition. We have no reason to believe that this move is connected to efforts to eliminate funding for the NEH and look forward to continuing to build support for the agency.

NHA Executive Director Stephen Kidd recently interviewed Chairman Adams for our quarterly conference call series. Click here to listen to the interview. "

National Humanities Alliance
http://www.nhalliance.org/

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It will be difficult to avoid speaking of politics if these troubling patterns continue.  All I can hope for is a change in sentiment from politicians in power towards arts and humanities funding in the future.  

 

The production of Entertainment in the US in a billion dollar business in the US.  Certainly the ROE is difficult to track for the NEA and NEH but I hope there is some push back.  

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6 hours ago, California said:

(Should I worry that the NEA web site has been off-line all day?)

 

 

It seems to be back online, but this is disheartening news nonetheless.

 

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It is true that the Administration wants to eliminate the NEH entirely, but so far the White House’s budget proposals have mostly been DOA at the Hill. Also, just his month Congress passed an appropriations act which increased funding by $2 million – a modest increase but still an increase, and Trump signed it. Keep contacting your senators and congresspersons.

It could be that he really was resigning for personal reasons, but it can't help the agency to be without a head, no matter how capable the deputy, or so I should think. Will Trump appoint a new leader, in view of the fact that he sees no use for the agency?

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29 minutes ago, dirac said:

It could be that he really was resigning for personal reasons, but it can't help the agency to be without a head, no matter how capable the deputy, or so I should think. Will Trump appoint a new leader, in view of the fact that he sees no use for the agency?

The new administration has been installing "transition teams" in the agencies of the executive branch, including this one, so there was time for him to get an ultimatum, if that's what happened. Plenty of conservative academics would love to preside over NEH, whether it continues or is shut down in the next year.

 

The vacancy rate in executive branch appointments is staggering. Typically, the highest ranking career staff take over as "acting" so there's somebody to sign paperwork, as needed, but not to take new initiatives.

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The proposed Trump budget calls for an appropriation of 42 million dollars for the "orderly closure" of the NEH. (I'm on a tablet and can't set up a link.)

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17 hours ago, Drew said:

The proposed Trump budget calls for an appropriation of 42 million dollars for the "orderly closure" of the NEH. (I'm on a tablet and can't set up a link.)

 

Huh?? That seems like a lot of money to be devoted to closing something, doesn't it? Or am I just naive?

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Just now, Stage Right said:

 

Huh?? That seems like a lot of money to be devoted to closing something, doesn't it? Or am I just naive?

That includes paying remaining grant obligations. E.g., Challenge grants normally have a three-year window to raise the funds that trigger Federal matching funds.

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1 hour ago, California said:

That includes paying remaining grant obligations. E.g., Challenge grants normally have a three-year window to raise the funds that trigger Federal matching funds.

 

I hadn't even thought about that, but yes, a lot of matching grants have a longer window than the current fiscal year.

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