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Contact: Tom Parisi, NIU Office of Public Affairs
January 11, 2008
DeKalb, Ill. — President George W. Bush has nominated Gary D. Glenn, a Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University, to serve on the National Council for the Humanities.
The council is as an advisory board to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Glenn’s nomination requires Senate confirmation and has been referred for confirmation to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
A resident of DeKalb, Glenn has taught a wide array of political science courses over more than four decades at NIU, where he earned a reputation for being among the university’s top teachers. He was recipient of the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Great Professor Award bestowed by the Honors Program and a Presidential Teaching Professorship, the university’s top recognition for excellence in the classroom.
While Glenn retired last year, he continues teaching and working with students, especially on theses and dissertations. This semester he is teaching POLS 353H Courting, Marrying and Politics.
“Gary Glenn devoted his professional career to defending and promoting liberal education and studying American political thought with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution. These issues are central to the NEH,” said Christopher Jones, chair of the Department of Political Science. “Moreover, Gary has done these things exceedingly well.”
An independent federal agency, the NEH promotes excellence in the humanities and is charged with conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects in four funding areas: education, research, public programs and preserving and providing access to cultural resources.
The National Council on the Humanities consists of 26 distinguished private citizens who advise the NEH chairman. Board members serve staggered 6-year terms.
Glenn intends to accept the nomination if confirmed. “I didn’t seek it, it came seeking me, but it’s an honor to be nominated,” he said.
The post will require reading through and providing recommendations on numerous NEH grant applications. Council members, who typically meet quarterly in Washington, D.C., also provide recommendations on matters of policy.
“Funding decisions are a big responsibility,” Glenn said. “Those of us who have worked as faculty members at research universities have all applied for grants, and we know what it’s like to be turned down. We hope that the people who are making decisions are paying close attention to both the importance and the effort that goes into these proposals. It’s consequential work.”