The Profound Role of Liberal Arts
In Higher Ed Dive, President Laura Walker highlights Bennington’s commitment to the humanities and offers ideas that build what Bennington does best—provide an interdisciplinary education that values arts and humanities among the sciences as critical preparation for a meaningful life.
"At Bennington, we plan to thrive by strengthening, not diminishing, our commitment to the arts and humanities at a time when they are critically needed," writes Walker. "That may mean colleges change the way they fundraise, especially for schools like ours that must look for support outside of our communities. It may also mean a different structure for postsecondary education, with smaller schools providing instruction in critical areas, especially the humanities. We need to support one another.
"To be sure, students want to develop skills for successful careers. But before too many humanities courses are cut, let's also deeply consider other data: Students steeped in the humanities bring immense value to the workplace — a larger perspective that sparks creativity, complex problem-solving skills and the ability to change course to consider new perspectives. But there is an additional value: how they engage throughout life as citizens and the conceptual frameworks they learn that enable them to develop bold scenarios for the future, from addressing climate change to contending with what we have recently seen in Washington, D.C."