I was pretty upset to hear that SUNY Albany is cutting its programs in French, Italian, Russian, Classics, and Theater. Is this the future of public universities?
According to Brett Bowles, graduate chair of French Studies, the reason these programs were singled out was that there was a low student-to-faculty ratio in them (something usually considered a good thing, but apparently too great a luxury now!). And you have to figure that, sure, there can't be that many Russian majors at any given school. But even leaving aside the bleak vision of a world without Russian majors, what happens when you phase out the department altogether, as the school seems to be trying to do? Is SUNY Albany really comfortable more or less ensuring that their engineering majors, their English majors (!!), and their biology majors haven't taken French, Italian, Russian, Latin, ancient Greek, or theater? Like, ever? What kinds of graduates are they planning on turning out, exactly?
[Article at Inside Higher Ed.]
[More as of 10/05/2010.]