Author Archives: Robert B. Townsend

Council Decisions: January 3 and 6, 2013

At the semi-annual meeting of the Council of the American Historical Association held Thursday and Sunday, the governing board made the following decisions:

Mixed News in New History Jobs Report

The AHA’s annual job report, which is being released today, offers mixed news about the state of the history job market, particularly in academia.

A Vital Resource: The Humanities Indicators

Have you ever pondered job prospects for humanities majors, or wondered about trends in the number of visits to historic sites? The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is currently hosting an invaluable resource, The Humanities Indicators, which holds the answers to these questions and many more.

Historians React to Proposal from Florida Task Force on State Higher Education Reform

Should it cost more for a degree in history than the sciences? A preliminary proposal from a task force, commissioned by Florida Governor Rick Scott offers a resounding “yes.” If their proposal goes into effect, it would allow public universities to charge undergraduates differing tuition rates depending on their major. The proposal offers to freeze tuition rates for majors in “specific high-skill, high demand (market determined strategic demand) degree programs,” in an effort to lure such students into the state. Meanwhile, for fields viewed as having less value—history among them—tuition would rise.

The PhD Gap: Worrisome Trends in the Hiring of Junior Faculty

In response to a question from Stacy Patton for her Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Stale PhDs Need Not Apply,” I put together the accompanying chart from my surveys of job advertisers. The trends are quite fascinating, and could have significant implications for the training and preparation of new PhDs and the expectations of those currently in the history job market.