Newswise — MORGANTOWN, W. Va.— Experts at West Virginia University say that innovation is required for the future economy and National Endowment for the Humanities grant funding is a vital for the research that will develop innovative ideas that add to our quality of life. President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to NEH could have negative effects on programs that foster creative and innovative thinking and threaten the university’s R1 research, according to these experts.


Fred L. King Vice President for Research Professor of Chemistry

“We cannot predict where the next great economic driver will come from, but we know that if we do not invest in innovation and creativity our future will be significantly less promising. When we think about federally funded research at universities, we need to consider that many of the modern conveniences and quality of life we enjoy today had their roots in federally-funded university research projects.  In addition, research universities such as West Virginia University, also are the engines of innovation that help drive and transform regional economies. Those who work in the arts and humanities also find tremendous success in taking their creative talents and building thriving businesses that support a vibrant community.”

Contact info: 304.293.3449; [email protected] 


Joyce McConnell WVU Provost

“At West Virginia University, we know that the humanities disciplines instill in students creative thinking and problem-solving skills that form the foundation of deeply-satisfying professional and personal lives.  We do all that we can to support our faculty and students working in the humanities, but the funding support provided by the NEH is often what makes extraordinary humanities education and scholarship possible.”

Contact info: 304.293.5701; [email protected]


Paul Kreider Dean WVU College of Creative Arts

“The USA needs, now more than ever, to invest in arts and humanities education to ensure innovation and creativity in new technologies and our entrepreneurial enterprises.  Innovation is required for vitality of our future economy.  Funding of creative innovation is needed to train our workforce. Continuation of educational reductions, cutting of creative programs, and eliminating the innovation that occurs in our educational systems will drive our students to seek their educations outside the USA.”

Contact info: 304.293.4351; [email protected]

Melanie Page Associate Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activities

“Humanities courses are vitally important not only because they provide us a lens through which to critically look at society, but also because the humanities courses teach and encourage students to think critically, creatively, and responsibly – all of which are invaluable skills to have when joining the workforce.”

Contact info: 304.293.5913; [email protected]


Travis Stimeling Assistant Professor of Music History WVU College of Creative Arts

NEH grants are essential to the work of our R1 status at WVU. The strength of a research university’s overall profile is based, in part, on its intellectual diversity, of which the humanities are a key part. NEH funding allows us to demonstrate breadth as an institution, which allows us to go after even larger funding from state, federal, and corporate sources. NEH grants often allow us to do a great deal of work with a very small amount of funding, and much of the funding that comes to WV helps to hire talented people to teach, conduct research, and provide technical assistance.”

Contact info: 304.293.4968; [email protected]


West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVUToday.






Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.