Together, our arts and stories have more impact. Connect with other organizations and resources.

Interested in learning more? Here are some key colleague organizations, reports, featured news, opinions, and infographics you should get to know.

April/May21: Spring to It

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn,” observed naturalist, author, and journalist Hal Borland. As the editorial chronicler of the seasons in The New York Times, Borland’s columns vividly showcased the search for meaning in the natural world as timely, important, and imperative. 

Those who champion the arts and sciences can find inspiration in Borland’s example. We must show the timeliness, importance, and imperativeness of the arts, humanities, mathematics, and sciences on campuses and in communities.

For faculty on campus, Phi Beta Kappa recently compiled departmental advocacy guides from a range of disciplines facing cuts on many campuses this spring. 

Liberal arts and sciences graduates can also play crucial advocacy roles as legislatures adopt state budgets from early spring to early summer. 

What types of arts and sciences asks are appropriate for legislators and members of Congress?

Federal Level

  • Encourage your senators to join the Senate Cultural Caucus and your representatives to join the Congressional Humanities Caucus. These bipartisan groups consider policies to support the arts and sciences at the federal level. Do investments in the nation’s cultural sector really matter? The nation’s creative economy equals 4.5 percent of gross domestic product, contributing more to the national economy than the construction, transportation, travel, tourism, mining, utilities, and agriculture industries. Not only is the cultural sector crucial for economic recovery, but it also strengthens communities and builds civic ties.
  • Ask policymakers to make federal investments in science a national priority and encourage the use of evidence-based policymaking. The U.S. has now fallen to tenth place among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations in research investment as a fraction of GDP. Let’s change that equation

State Level:

  • Help prevent cuts to higher education spending. Policymakers will face many difficult choices this session. State investments in higher education help students and their families now, but also benefit communities with the public value of arts and sciences research and ensure long-term competitiveness. With broad cuts to higher education, the liberal arts and sciences often sustain disproportionate reductions. You do not have to be an alum to help Phi Beta Kappa’s public colleges and universities in your state. Government relations teams welcome constituent support from non-alumni and can provide data, asks, and student stories.
  • Watch for potential bills that target the liberal arts in your state and learn how to respond productively. 

Beyond Policymakers:

If you are not interested in talking with policymakers, you can still help.

  • If you donate to your alma mater, take a few extra minutes to let your college or university know why you support the arts and sciences on campus in the comments box as you complete your donation.
  • If you are an employer, encourage your human resources staff to avoid narrow pre-professional educational requirements when filling positions that require interdisciplinary perspectives and executive function skills.

Another Borland observation could also prove useful this season. “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” Spring 2021 will require both patience and persistence from all champions of the arts and sciences. Now, it’s time to get to work.

COVID-19 Resources for the Arts & Sciences Community

To help in this time of crisis, the Society has pulled together resources from higher education associations, science coalitions, and cultural advocacy groups for our chapter institutions and members.

Please note: We will post opportunities here at key moments to contact legislators on behalf of higher education, the arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and mathematics.

It is easy to feel helpless in the midst of the pandemic. But together, we can guide the national response and build more resilient communities through the power of the arts and sciences.

Higher Education Associations

Science Coalitions

Cultural Advocacy Groups

Reports and Infographics

chArts and Sciences
(Phi Beta Kappa)

The Economic Benefits and Costs of a Liberal Arts Education
(The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

The Real, Long-term Labor Market Outcomes of Liberal Arts Grads
(Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Emsi)

Federal Funding for Social and Behavioral Sciences
(Association of American Universities)

It Takes More than a Major
(Association of American Colleges & Universities)

Liberal Arts Degrees and Their Value in Employment
(Association of American Colleges & Universities and National Center for Higher Education Management Systems)

Power of the Liberal Arts
(Council of Independent Colleges)

Science Matters
(Science Coalition)

Heart of the Matter
(American Academy of Arts & Sciences)

Arts + Social Impact Explorer
(Americans for the Arts)

District Advocacy Guide: Engaging Humanities Advocates on a Local Level
(National Humanities Alliance)

NEH Impact Index
(Graduate Center Digital Initiatives)

The State of Humanities 2018
(American Academy of Arts & Sciences)

Featured News Articles and Opinions

Liberal Arts Align with Employers Needs 
By Rick Seltzer
Inside Higher Ed  | 01.07.2020

What’s a Liberal Arts Degree Worth?
By Te-Ping Chen and Hanna Sender
The Wall Street Journal | 5.10.19

Study Documents Economic Gains (Yes, Gains) of Liberal Arts Education
By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed | 2.15.19

Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy
By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed | 2.7.18

Liberal Arts Prepare Students for a Changing World
By Brian F. Linnane
The Baltimore Sun | 6.13.2018

A Liberal Arts Degree- Specializing in Nothing- Is Actually Great for Your Career
By Amy X. Wang
Quartz | 11.6.17

The Ideal College Education Can Yield Rocket Scientists Who Write Poetry
By John M. Eger and Norah P. Schultz
San Diego Union Tribune | 3.31.17

Historians Make the Best Health Care Workers
By Emily Michelson
Times Higher Education| 1.22.17

You Don’t Need to Know Code to Make It in Silicon Valley
By Alice Ma
LinkedIn Official Blog | 8.25.15

That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket
By George Anders
Forbes | 7.29.15

Is there a key resource that we missed?

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