Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 09:18:48 -0400 From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: A Dumb Question about the NEH >Wayne Glowka's comment (question) on possible transfer of NEH money to the >states is not dumb at all. Here's the why not, as far as I can see: > >1) there would be 50 bureaucracies for people to deal with instead of >one, requiring many times (though perhaps not 50 times) the support >staff. From what I have seen of NEH, their staff and offices are now >lean and mean, not bloated and ripe for hacking like the Dept. of >Agriculture. > >2) state funding for individuals (fellowships) would be fine, but as >Wayne suggested it would be very difficult for those of us with >multi-state projects. Even larger projects within each state would have >terrible problems: if each state had $3 million, of which $1 million >went for overhead of different kinds, it would be hard to justify any >large grants owing to the large number of state interests that need to be >satisfied. The Ga Humanities programs dole out $1000 at a time. > >3) many of the projects that NEH was established to help---dictionaries, >atlases, editions, translations---are in the national interest, not in >the interest of any state. Dividing up money by state makes every local >interest a player *against* the larger national interest, because state >bureaucracies would want to keep the money at home and not fritter it >away on things that were not of local interest. At best, there would be >an interest in paying scholars and citizens within the state, even if >their projects were national or global, and even that would make it hard >to work collaborations across state lines (as I have attempted several >times). > >4) Finally, block grants to states do not always get used for the >purposes one expects them to. One can imagine the (possible) NEH block >grant to Georgia being used to fund Gov. Miller's Country Music Hall of >Fame, or paying for reduced-price movie tickets for urban residents at >midnight (instead of crime-bill basketball), or funding the establishment >of "humanities camps" for first-time offenders that the state didn't want >to pay to put in high-security prison (like our current bootcamps). >While these might be good ideas and even be popular in the state, they >are hardly the kind of scholarly programs that our national NEH supports. > >Regards, Bill Well said, Bill. Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]