AHA Council Calls on City University of New York to Support History

AHA Council, April 1996

Editor's Note: The February 1996 issue of Perspectives included an incomplete version of the following resolution. On January 7, 1996, during the AHA annual meeting in Atlanta, the Council of the Association approved the following wording.

WHEREAS, the teaching of history is regarded in every nation as an undisputed prerequisite for productive citizenship; and

WHEREAS, an understanding of the human past is an indisputable link in advancing personal, social, national, and global priorities; and

WHEREAS, the diminution of the teaching of history in public institutions of higher learning to accommodate supposedly more "practical" uses of resources is neither sound nor defensible in short- or long-term planning; and

WHEREAS, budget decisions made in the City University of New York under the declaration of fiscal exigency in 1995-96 have had severe and deleterious effects on the history department at the City College of New York (CCNY) and more broadly, the university's other history departments; and

WHEREAS, existing program planning and downsizing were undertaken without appropriate consultation with historians and other humanists and social scientists both at CCNY and in the broader academic community; and

WHEREAS, this program planning endangers scholarship, threatens the destruction of distinguished programs of teaching and research with national reputations for excellence, and imposes teaching conditions that violate national standards for research institutions; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED:

That the Council of the American Historical Association call upon Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds of the City University and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Richard Freeland, a professional historian, to ensure that adequate resources for essential scholarship and teaching be provided to restore history programs to their rightful place in the liberal arts curriculum,

And that the Council call upon Chancellor W. Ann Reynolds and Vice Chancellor Richard M. Freeland to ensure that no planning for history programs take place without broad consultation with CCNY historians, humanists, and social scientists.