Connecticut College News

Back to Current News

President Higdon in Huffington Post: Social sciences lead to fulfilling employment

11/17/2011

 President Leo I. Higdon Jr.

President Leo I. Higdon Jr.

President Leo I. Higdon Jr. has published an opinion piece in the Huffington Post in support of the social sciences and the liberal arts as practical courses of study for success in today's global economy.

Read the article.

The piece is in response to recent comments by Florida Governor Rick Scott. According to multiple media reports, Gov. Scott said in interviews last week that public funding should be shifted from certain majors, including anthropology and other social sciences, to what he considers practical majors with good employment prospects, including engineering, mathematics and the physical sciences (known as STEM fields).

"While I agree with the governor on the importance of study that prepares an individual for a fulfilling career - and that the STEM disciplines are certainly practical and fulfilling - this narrow definition of what qualifies as a practical major is seriously flawed," Higdon wrote.

Higdon argues that in today's rapidly changing global economy, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills have never been more crucial.

"Liberal arts students have those skills," Higdon wrote. "They learn how to think, not what to think. They learn to make connections and challenge the status quo. They acquire knowledge and experience that allows them to adapt easily to change. And they are able to learn about and master new concepts and issues in a very uncertain and challenging environment."

Higdon adds that anthropology, which was singled out by Gov. Scott in some of his comments, is a great example of an interdisciplinary course of study that teaches students particular skills that help them become successful in many different fields.

"Anthropology majors at Connecticut College, for example, have gone on to become city planners, corporate CEOs and vice presidents, business owners, lawyers, graphic artists, web developers, guidance counselors, teachers and professors, in addition to many others," he wrote.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Matt Engelhardt (860) 439-2505, mengelha@conncoll.edu
Deborah MacDonnell (860) 439-2504, dmacdonn@conncoll.edu



You might also like...


Three postdocs to join faculty as part of C3 diversity initiative


Investment game teaches students about global macro investing


New Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows eager to make an impact


Professors make important contributions to their fields with recently published books


Matt Luciani ’16 explores the environmental history of the American southwest


Summer research takes Christine Connolly ’16 to Brown – and back to the 16th and 17th centuries


Ferguson ‘teach-in’ inspires students to take action against racial injustice


Connecticut College names Pamela Dumas Serfes vice president for Communications