John Unsworth to serve on national humanities council
Unsworth will advise NEH chairman on programs, policies and funding
The White House has appointed the Vice Provost for Library & Technology Services and Chief Information Officer John Unsworth to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
In joining the 26-member council, Unsworth, who is also the university librarian, will be responsible for advising the NEH director on policies, procedures and programs and reviewing grant proposals that NEH panels have recommended for funding.
“I look forward to working with Acting Chair Carole Watson and other members of the council to advance the cause of humanities scholarship and to increase the understanding and impact of the humanities in the daily lives of Americans,” Unsworth says.
The NEH is an independent federal agency and one of the largest funders of the humanities in the United States. Its grants help fund universities, public television and radio, libraries and individual scholars.
“This is a particularly important time to be assisting the NEH,” Unsworth notes, “as proposed House legislation aims to cut its funding in half.”
Unsworth joined Brandeis University in 2012 from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he served as dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Under Unsworth’s leadership, the school doubled its budget and its research funding.
He has worked with the NEH for nearly 20 years, as a grant applicant and recipient, a review panelist, and most recently as a consultant on the development of the permanent Office of Digital Humanities.
Coincidentally, Unsworth is replacing Brandeis University alum Jean Elshtain, PhD'73, who has served on the council since 2006. Unsworth, who is also a professor of English at Brandeis, is scheduled to serve a six-year term on the council.