Gov. Rick Scott of Florida is beginning to lay out his agenda for higher-education reform, including putting more state money into degrees that he says are likely to produce more jobs, but in an interview with The Herald-Tribune, a newspaper in Sarasota, Fla., the most notable thing he said concerned anthropology.
Under the Republican governor’s agenda, the winners would include programs in mathematics and science, but at the cost of supporting the humanities, the newspaper reports. “If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education, then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Mr. Scott told the paper. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state. Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.”
The American Anthropological Association issued a prompt reply to the governor’s remarks, calling them “shortsighted” and “unfortunate” and noting that thousands of anthropologists are “making groundbreaking discoveries” in a range of related fields. A more-pointed rebuttal to Governor Scott was posted at Mother Jones, under the headline: “Rick Scott to Liberal-Arts Majors: Drop Dead.”