March 2012 Issue • Volume 40 • Issue 3

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Science Policy

States with Higher Tax Rates Are Better for Children

Science Policy

A new index of child well-being finds a strong relationship among state tax rates, the size of state investments in children, and children’s quality-of-life. The STATE Child Well-Being Index (CWI)—developed for the Foundation for Child Development by demographers William O’Hare (Annie E. Casey Foundation) and Mark Mather and Genevieve Dupuis (Population Reference Bureau)—provides the most-comprehensive measure of children’s quality-of-life on a state-by-state basis. The report, Investing in Public Programs Matters: How State Policies Impact Children’s Lives, focuses on the results of the STATE CWI, which draws from a richer data set than previous state-level studies of child well-being. The STATE CWI assesses children’s quality-of-life in each state across 25 indicators clustered into seven domains (family economic well-being, health, safe/risky behavior, educational attainment, community engagement, social relationships, and emotional/spiritual well-being) and compares them across states. For more information, see

Department of Homeland Security Announces Academic Advisory Council

In early March, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the formation of the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC). The Council is comprised of university presidents and academic leaders charged with advising the Secretary and senior leadership at the Department on several key issues. Secretary Napolitano has asked the group, which will be chaired by Wallace Loh, President of the University of Maryland, to provide advice and recommendations on issues related to student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research; campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness; and faculty exchanges. The group’s inaugural meeting, which is open to the public, will take place on March 20 in Washington, DC. Additional information, including a list of Council members, is available at

National Humanities Alliance Seeks an Executive Director 

Jessica Irons, Executive Director of the National Humanities Alliance, stepped down from her position February 1, 2012. The officers and directors of the Board deeply appreciate Irons’ service to the Alliance. ASA is a member of the Alliance and ASA Executive Officer Sally T. Hillsman has served as an officer.

Duane Webster, former NHA Board member and Executive Director Emeritus of the Association of Research Libraries, agreed to serve as Interim Director of the National Humanities Alliance for the next two months. A long-time member representative to the Alliance, Webster has served NHA in a number of capacities over the years, most recently as chair of the organization’s Committee on Libraries and Intellectual Property. Irons was appointed NHA Executive Director in 2005, and has served in a number of roles since first joining the Alliance staff in 1999.

The Alliance plays a lead role in advocating for NEH funding, and its efforts in this area have been especially critical during the recent period of extreme pressures on the federal budget. The Alliance seeks a proactive and strategic leader to promote the health and wellbeing of the humanities within the U.S. Federal sphere. The deadline for submission of nominations or applications is April 30, 2012. Additional information is available at

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