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Arts, Humanities, and Lettered Social Sciences

In 2013, President Samuel Stanley announced that he was dedicating $1 million to establish four years of special funding to support scholarship in the humanities, social sciences and arts.  This special initiative reflects the fact that in recent years the federal government and state agencies have cut support for scholarship in these areas.  President Stanley believes that in order to remain a top tier research university, SBU has to have a high profile in the humanities, arts and social sciences.  Hence he has set aside this funding and asked Provost Dennis Assanis to oversee its dispersal.

To that end, Provost Assanis created the AHLSS committee in Fall 2013, to create a plan for investing these funds.  He invited representatives from all main campus departments identified with the humanities, arts, and lettered social sciences, and appointed two faculty members, Eduardo Mendieta (Philosophy) and Nancy Tomes (History) to convene that group to generate recommendations to the President about how to allocate these moneys.

The mission of the AHLSS committee includes consulting with all members of academic units in the humanities, arts and lettered social sciences about

  • gathering data about existing initiatives and surveying what new initiatives are being developed that will enhance both excellence and growth in these areas
  • gathering concrete suggestions for programs and projects that will have direct impact on research and faculty development in the humanities, arts and lettered social sciences.
  • conducting Town Hall meetings to engage, consult, and inform faculty, staff and students about specific recommendations.
  • drafting and delivering to the Provost a series of recommendations that can be implemented in both the short and long term.

In fulfilling this mission, the President and Provost expect the AHLSS committee to be inclusive in its efforts and transparent in the programs that it recommends. 

The programs recommended by the Committee were the following: