Obama Apologizes To Austin Professor For Painting Art History As - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Obama Apologizes To Austin Professor For Painting Art History As Irrelevant

Posted: Updated:

(KXAN) — President Obama wrote a personal apology to an Austin art professor after she objected to his recent remarks on the economy that she said slammed her field as irrelevant, according to Politico and the art blog Hyperallergic.

Speaking at a General Electric plant in Milwaukee last month, Obama said that "folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree," touching off criticism in the art history world about why the president would suggest that an art history degree is worthless.

So Ann Collins Johns, a professor of art history at the University of Texas-Austin, got onto the White House website and sent a little note through the site's public cor section on Jan. 31 explaining all the positive contributions art historians make to the world.

Two weeks later, she got a shocking answer – a personal apology from the president, who she assumed was far too busy to even read her emails, much less pen a personal answer, according to a post on her Facebook page.

"Now I'm totally guilty about wasting his time," wrote Johns, a self-proclaimed Obama supporter.

"I felt as if his reply was very gracious, and I'm delighted," she told KXAN. "What's been really fun about this is sharing this with my students."

Obama's letter, posted on the Hyperallergic blog and picked up by national news agencies such as Politico.com, explained that he only meant to encourage students to pursue technical or skilled labor careers if a four-year degree is not in the cards for them. The note was scanned into an email.

"Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed," Obama wrote, according to the letter published on the blog. "So please pass on my apology for the glib remark to the entire department, and understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.

"Sincerely, Barack Obama."

The White House asked Johns if she would like to receive the original hand-written copy. She said yes, and it is now on its way.

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Buffalo Bills Will Pay Up to $3M to Settle Text-Messaging Lawsuit

    Buffalo Bills Will Pay Up to $3M to Settle Text-Messaging Lawsuit

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:35 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:35:11 GMT
    In 2014, Buffalo Bills starting quarterback EJ Manuel will cost the team $2.02 million against their cap. Thanks to a lawsuit from a disgruntled fan, the Bills will pay roughly $1 million more than that just for their phone bill.More >>
    In 2014, Buffalo Bills starting quarterback EJ Manuel will cost the team $2.02 million against their cap. Thanks to a lawsuit from a disgruntled fan, the Bills will pay roughly $1 million more than that just for their phone bill.More >>
  • Georgia Law Allows Guns in Some Schools, Bars, Churches

    Georgia Law Allows Guns in Some Schools, Bars, Churches

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:58:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 -- which opponents have nicknamed the "guns everywhere bill" -- specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of...More >>
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law Wednesday that has critics howling and proponents applauding.House Bill 60, or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014 -- which opponents have nicknamed the "guns everywhere bill" -- specifies where Georgia residents can carry weapons. Included are provisions that allow residents who have concealed carry permits to take guns into some bars, churches, school zones, government buildings and certain parts of...More >>
  • Two College Football Players Arraigned in Beating of Homeless Man

    Two College Football Players Arraigned in Beating of Homeless Man

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:52:25 GMT
    Two college football players were arraigned in Massachusetts Superior Court on Wednesday for allegedly kicking and beating a homeless man until a passerby shielded the victim's body with her own, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said.Craig "C.J." Parsons, 22, and Anthony Varrichione, 23, were charged with aggravated assault and battery and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Additionally, Parsons was charged with "with violating the state's witness int...More >>
    Two college football players were arraigned in Massachusetts Superior Court on Wednesday for allegedly kicking and beating a homeless man until a passerby shielded the victim's body with her own, the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said.Craig "C.J." Parsons, 22, and Anthony Varrichione, 23, were charged with aggravated assault and battery and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Additionally, Parsons was charged with "with violating the state's witness int...More >>
Click for Local Doppler Radar
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.