Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday in an interview with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that the state does not need more anthropologists. As it turns out, his daughter has a degree in anthropology.
"Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so," Scott said. He told the Sarasota paper that he wants to shift funding to science, technology and math departments, and away from departments like psychology and anthropology.
"If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs," he said. "So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state."
Virginia Dominiguez, president of the American Anthropological Association said in a letter to Scott, "It's very unfortunate that you would characterize our discipline in such a short-sighted way." She added, "Perhaps you are unaware that anthropologists are leaders in our nation's top science fields."
Scott's daughter, Jordan Kandah, holds an undergraduate anthropology degree from the College of William & Mary. She was a special education teacher before enrolling in an M.B.A. program.
Scott's spokesman told Tampa Bay Online that the governor was not criticizing anthropologists but wanted to highlight the demand for college graduates with science, technology, engineering and math degrees.