Infrastructure and Capacity Building

I was delighted this week to be notified that the Humanities Commons team has received an Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This grant is the foundation of a long-term sustainability strategy for the Commons, which includes hiring two new full-time staff members to join the team and contribute to the build out of both our technical infrastructure and our community and governance models.

Of course, being a challenge grant, it comes with significant responsibilities on our part: chiefly, the raising of a 3:1 match to augment the federal funding. But we are excited about the prospects, and looking forward to getting started.

Another aspect of this plan includes migrating the Commons’s hosting and fiscal sponsorship to Michigan State University. The MLA has committed enormous energy and resources to getting the Commons off the ground and will continue to contribute to the network as the founding member organization and a key development partner. A research university, however — and particularly one as focused on public-facing research and scholarship as MSU — can provide certain kinds of long-term stability for our growing network.

You’ll be hearing more from us about all our plans in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, I want to thank the NEH for their ongoing support for this project, and thank all the members of the Humanities Commons community for getting us to this point. We look forward to serving the future of your work for years to come.

Customize your Groups!

intersecting pedestrian crossings with people walking

We’ve introduced some new options to customize a group’s interface. Group admins now have the option to hide features that aren’t relevant to the group in Manage → Settings.

In addition, group admins can change the default landing page for their group from “Activity,” if they wish.

For instance, if a group wants a place to have discussion and collect syllabi and teaching materials deposited in CORE, the group admin might hide Events, Docs, and Files and make “Discussion” the landing page.

screenshot of the group admin settings page where one can hide menu items or change the default landing page.

Group admins will still see the hidden menu items, greyed out. A group member who is not an admin will not see the greyed out items.

group menu bar with "files" greyed out