In concert with the H-Net Council, two primary objectives deserve our near-term attention. We first need to work to develop a partnership strategy for grants as a way to ensure future necessary revenue stream for the continuance of all H-Net functions. As one of the founding list editors of H-TAH, the listserv for Teaching American History grants (with over $600 million in previous funding and an additional $100 million expected to be announced after the mid-term elections), we have been working to establish such a partnership structure. This would allow H-Net to formally offer the expertise of its list editors and list members to the larger community interested in the humanities in addition to generating revenue for these services. Additionally, we have the potential for setting the parameters for utilizing Project Builder to house the efforts of grants and grant participants in a more enduring repository. At the same time, we could ensure that additional revenue is generated to support this effort.
And, although H-TAH only impacts one portion of the H-Net audience, we could use this as as starting point to offer our expertise for other grant opportunities. For example, the US Department of Education's FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education) is only one possibility as are NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grants. This is an especially interesting possibility since NEH funding has been instrumental to H-Net in the past.
In the current grant environment, we need to be more pro-active and be prepared for opportunities as they present themselves instead of waiting until after they announced. The windows of opportunity are narrowing and often amount to only 6 to 8 weeks which is, quite simply, not enough time to formulate a more detailed and workable policy that can also be approved by the H-Net Council. If elected to the position of VP-Teaching, I will work with the Teaching Committee to jump-start these efforts.
A second important focus of our concentration should be building on the successful implementation of Project Builder among other lists. As a co-editor of H-Teach for a decade now, I am aware of the interests of its editors to build teaching repositories that would be appropriate for Project Builder. H-Teach co-editor Sara Tucker has done great work building a World History repository supported with grant funding at her home institution (Washburn University) and we would like to utilize her expertise as we expand the realm of Project Builder across the wider audiences of H-Net. This could also be an important recruiting tool as those outside the the world of H-Net become more aware of the vast resources we offer.