New York, NY (October 11, 2012)—After serving twenty-five years first as president and then as chairman of the National Association of Scholars (NAS), founder Stephen H. Balch has stepped down to launch a new Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
The Institute, the only program of its kind among major American universities, aims to rekindle academic interest in the integrated study of Western civilization. It will offer conferences, publications, presentations, online resources, and seminars to stimulate discussion and research, and it will help develop Western civilization curricula for the Honors College at Texas Tech.
During his years at the NAS, Dr. Balch worked to encourage institutions of higher education across the nation to develop academic programming focused on Western civilization and the study of free institutions. He also co-authored “The Vanishing West: 1964-2010,” an NAS study documenting the dramatic decline in the number of courses on the history of Western civilization in America’s universities and colleges.
“I am thrilled to begin my new career at Texas Tech University,” Dr. Balch said. “Reviving the study of Western civilization is critical to its survival. Academia’s hostility toward it in recent decades corresponds to the decline of civic knowledge among Americans. The work of the National Association of Scholars to improve college quality and the work to invigorate academic interest in Western civilization go hand in hand.”
Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, said, “Steve Balch has made crucial contributions to American higher education. In an era when colleges and universities were turning their backs on the teaching of Western civilization, he reminded us how indispensable that teaching really is. We look forward to working with him in his new role at Texas Tech.”
Dr. Balch will remain a member of the NAS Board of Directors. Now serving as its chairman is Herbert I. London, president emeritus of the Hudson Institute and professor emeritus of humanities at New York University.
Dr. London said, “I’ve gone full circle. I was the first chairman of the National Association of Scholars and am now the current chairman. For me it’s a thrilling and extraordinary opportunity in large part because I believe the NAS is at the vanguard of the reforms that are so necessary in higher education. I wish Steve all the best in his grand new enterprise, and having come to know so well his determination and leadership skill, I am entirely confident about his success.”
CONTACT: Peter Wood, President, NAS: 917-551-6770; [email protected]
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