Charles Halton has posted a link to an article in the Statesman, in which Jo Ann Hackett and John Huehnergard comment on the importance of academic research in the field of humanities. Since money for humanities’ research is drying up (the article references Harvard), whether to keep these kinds of programs will be an important question for many institutions.
I would like to add that institutions (seminaries, bible colleges etc.), which treasure the study of the Bible in its original languages and according to its historical and cultural background, should probably pose similar questions to themselves. These institutions are not competing with the latest in scientific research as UT, but it seems biblical and theological studies in these institutions is always competing with the latest in church ministries or leadership in all of its manifestations. Donors are quick to give money to these kinds of programs, schools, and professors, which are supposed to help the churches in the short term. But where are the donations for good solid evangelical research, which will produce the resources for understanding and proclaiming the truth of the Scriptures for generations to come? When money is tight, what will these institutions choose to keep and what will they let go? It seems to me, as Christians we have a responsibility to keep studying the Bible at the highest level possible, but not all may see it that way.