Despite concerns about the popularity of the humanities at Stanford, University administrators say they are not worried about enrollment in the humanities or the post-graduation career opportunities for students in these departments.
Since last year, the School of Humanities and Sciences has been working to decrease the time to degree for students in Ph.D. programs.
Though there was an overall increase in the number of Introductory Seminars (IntroSems) offered this year, the number of applications for and enrollments in fall quarter seminars stayed relatively the same as last year, according to Russell Berman, faculty director of the Stanford Introductory Seminars (SIS) program.
Even as massive open online courses (MOOCs) continue to assume an increasingly prominent role in education, regularly enrolling thousands of students from around the world in classes taught by professors from dozens of universities, their rapid growth has sparked a backlash focused on the potential loss of diversity and interaction in education.
Nearly 50 percent of assistant professors who are hired at Stanford will go on to obtain tenure, according to Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences Richard Saller, who noted that around 80 percent of those faculty members who reached the point of being considered for tenure are granted it.
Even as Stanford continues to bounce back strongly from the impact of the 2008 recession, renewed uncertainty about potential cuts in federal spending may prompt a more serious challenge to the University’s ability to fund faculty and students in the years ahead.