You might not expect much news from the Institute. You know us pretty well. Started in 1971. Membership organization. Correspondence courses. Ho-hum. Well, the news is that as of right now, the Henry George Institute is devising an expanded mission, and a more challenging definition of success.
In recent years, the HGI has been maintaining its work of distance education in Georgist political economy. We believe that in terms of real-world progress per dollar spent, the HGI is in the elite of Georgist organizations – perhaps even at the top. Yet there is much more potential than we can realize with an annual budget of $ 40K, and staff comprised of one part-time employee! For now, we maintain. But a point will eventually come at which we must either grow, or fade away.
During the past year the HGI’s courses – particularly our online offerings – have been substantially revised and updated. We have just published a brand new Understanding Economics workbook incorporating these changes in printed form. Efforts are underway to improve faculty communication and standardize grading procedures, and an Advisory Committee of distinguished Georgist educators will be overseeing these efforts.
We have begun a process that will, we hope, lead to certification by a national organization that recommends learning experiences for college transfer credit. Full accreditation is beyond our capacity. However, securing certification of this kind will serve the needs of many of our students who wish to earn college credit for their work with us – and it will enhance the value of our courses for newcomers. Also – and perhaps most important – the process of preparing for this review will improve the quality and consistency of our courses. Our over-riding goal in this effort is to enhance our curriculum’s academic viability without compromising its Georgist message.
It will be a lot of work – and it will cost money. We are embarking on a fund-raising campaign! We will be seeking grants and other funding outside the “georgist orbit” – but in the meantime, we need you to make as big a (tax-deductible) contribution as you possibly can. Our goal is to pay for our planned upgrades by raising $10,000 by next spring! A “fundraising thermometer” has appeared at henrygeorge.org – so you will be able to see your contribution registered, as the total climbs. And at the very least, if you have not yet become a member of the HGI, there’s no better time.
Fading Away Is Not An Option! We choose to grow.