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University of Iowa News Release

May 9, 2006

Skorton To Speak At Humanities Conference On Friday

University of Iowa President David Skorton will travel to Philadelphia on Friday, May 12, to speak about the importance of presidential leadership in conveying the significance of the humanities to the university and larger community.

The conference, "Reinvigorating the Humanities," is sponsored by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and is the culmination of follow up activities from the 2004 AAU report, "Reinvigorating the Humanities: Enhancing Research and Education on Campus and Beyond." Skorton will lead a panel discussion to examine how university leaders can better support the arts and humanities in their campus communities.

"Few, if any, disciplines or pursuits are more central to the university's core educational mission, and our deepest lives, than the arts and humanities," said Skorton. "With the traditional lack of significant financial resources from both the public and private sectors in the arts and humanities, university commitment and leadership at the highest levels are critical to maintaining and enhancing their central role not only within academia, but within our society generally."

Other members of the panel include David Marshall, dean of humanities and fine arts, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Lynn Hunt, Eugen Weber professor of modern European history, University of California, Los Angeles.

The conference will bring together university presidents and provosts, learned-society leaders, scholars, federal officials and members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA).

Since the report, the AAU and ACLS have urged institutional leadership to hold local discussions with scholars, administrators and other interested parties to build on the strengths of the humanities and to discuss the importance of humanities in academia and everyday life.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lesly Huffman, 319-384-0077, or Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,