President Best's End of Year Letter to the CHCI Membership

Dear directors, staff members, and humanities leaders of CHCI,

In my first six months as president of this global consortium, I have had the great privilege of speaking with many of you about the common challenges we face and about the visions for the future that we share as humanities leaders. Thank you for your exceedingly warm welcome; thank you, as well, to everyone who participated this past year in our CHCI Networks, Global Humanities Institutes, Membership Activity Fund projects, and sponsored workshops. In addition to these network activities, many of our members traveled to Santiago, Chile to join our vibrant and engaging Annual Meeting in June. All of us at CHCI appreciate your continued involvement in the organization. These collaborations and structures demonstrate the beauty and breadth of our collective capacities and interests across the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

CHCI continues to be the most extensive collective network of interdisciplinary humanities centers in the world, with over 300 member centers, institutes, and affiliates from 37 countries. Our strength comes from the active participation of member organizations like yours, and your participation is more important today than ever.

In the coming year, I along with the other CHCI board members and staff renew our commitment to supporting the core needs of our membership, as well as embarking on a new vision for our research initiatives. Here are some of the projects we will be working on over the coming year:

A New Vision for Humanities Research

  • Launch a new model for humanities research collaboration, with a goal of making our research initiatives more inclusive of our membership, streamlined, and financially sustainable;

  • Sustain the Membership Activity Fund to financially support inclusive collaborations across the membership especially with underrepresented institutions and organizations;

Creating Connections Across the Membership

  • Create a one-on-one mentorship program for new center and institute directors;

  • Relaunch the Administration Network as a home for staff to discuss issues of administration, including leadership and best practices, with a listserv to serve as a hotline for addressing immediate questions and crises and a peer-to-peer mentorship program for new staff;

  • Implement our new guidelines for forming and sustaining a CHCI Network, and anticipating the formation of new Networks including how we will support their growth;

  • Support the launch of the Transit Asia Research Network, a new Asia-based CHCI Network addressing transnational forms of conflict and social inequality that invites participants from all over the world;

  • Continue our support of the existing Networks that provide a critical professional and social platform for humanities leaders to hold in-depth discussions on key and pressing issues in their fields;

Membership Tiers and Financial Support

  • Offer a new three-year tier membership that guarantees your center or institute the current rate for your membership; with a three-year commitment you will avoid any upcoming increases in dues for the next two years;

  • Provide a new tier of complimentary membership for low-budget centers and institutes that are actively collaborating on CHCI-funded projects;

  • Provide each CHCI Network a total of three complimentary memberships per year for their collaborating organizations;

  • Continue to offer scholarships for attending our Annual Meeting, prioritizing leaders from underrepresented and low-budget institutions and organizations, as well as early career scholars

All of these programs, events, and opportunities, as well as the ability to share your center’s news and opportunities on our website, are only available to active CHCI members.

We are grateful for your continued involvement in CHCI, and we hope that you will renew your membership for 2024. If you have questions about CHCI or if you would like to share information with our membership, please write to us at

Thank you once again for your continued involvement in CHCI. I am looking forward to meeting and working with you in the coming years.


Stephen Best

President, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes

Director, Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley