Chemistry prof to Gov. Bevin: We need arts, humanities to attract best students

I was dismayed to read Gov. Matt Bevin’s comments suggesting that universities should restrict or stop offering majors in subjects, such as interpretive dance, that he does not believe will lead to well-paying jobs.

I can’t speak for all the universities in Kentucky, but the University of Kentucky does not have a program in interpretive dance. We do have a major and minor in dance. These programs are housed in the College of Fine Arts, which regularly offers musical and theater performances to the university community and the public.

The dance program is an integral part of our offerings in the arts; without it, the quality of our educational program in the other fine arts would suffer greatly. Our fine arts programs not only contribute to the region’s quality of life, but, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, the fine arts industry contributed over $700 billion to the United States economy in 2013.

Engineering and science are not the only areas that can lead to viable and financially rewarding careers.

Our vigorous arts program attracts high-achieving students to campus who major in other areas while also majoring or minoring in arts programs. For example, a January 2017 dance performance called “In Flight” featured performers majoring in…

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