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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Unsworth Nominated to National Council of the Humanities

Published: September 28, 2012
Section: News

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration announced its nomination of Dr. John Unsworth, Vice Provost for Library and Technology Services and Chief Information Officer at Brandeis to the National Council of the Humanities. Unsworth joins nationally renowned music composers, politicians and the CEO of National Council.

“I am grateful these accomplished men and women have agreed to join this Administration, and I’m confident they will serve ably in these important roles,” President Obama said in a statement released by The White House. “I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

Unsworth was unable to comment on his nomination, which was announced to the Brandeis community through an email from Provost Steve Goldstein on Sept. 21. “All of you who have worked with John know that he is eminently qualified to serve on the National Council on the Humanities,” Goldstein wrote.

Prior to working at Brandeis, Unsworth served as the dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for nine years. He was also the Director of the Illinois Informatics Institute during the last four years of his time at Illinois. He was an associate professor in the English department at the University of Virginia from 1993 to 2003, while simultaneously directing the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. He is also the co-founder of “Postmodern Culture,” an electronic humanities-centered, peer review journal.

Unsworth has written a plethora of work that has been printed in a number of different publications, including most recently, the University of Michigan Press, Digital Medievalist, Collaborative Research in the Digital Humanities and the Journal of Text Encoding Initiative.

The National Council on the Humanities is a board consisting of 26 prominent private citizens that oversee the National Endowment for Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency that is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Members are appointed by the president and serve six-year terms. Created in 1965, the NEH serves to promote excellence in the humanities by conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. They award grants to cultural institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, and colleges and universities. Grants are awarded to strengthen teaching, facilitate research and provide access to cultural resources.