Seven Emporia State concentrations and programs are endangered.
The programs were recommended for discontinuance because they don’t meet the Kansas Board of Regents standards for enrollment. They include French and German, Modern Languages; BS, Information Resource Studies; and MS, Instructional Leadership.
Hearings were held last week, and the Faculty Senate will vote on a recommendation, but it will be up to President Michael Shonrock to decide which, if any, programs survive.
While there’s been a lot of talk about low enrollment in these areas, we feel the question is really the value these programs bring to a university. At last week’s hearing, for example, we heard that eliminating French and German wouldn’t really save the university any money. But what is a university without these foreign language concentrations? Isn’t an education supposed to broaden your horizons, to introduce you to cultures and ways of thinking that perhaps you hadn’t encountered before, and to give you an idea of your place in the global village?
Even if you aren’t majoring in Modern Languages, you should still have the option to take French or German classes, if you so desire. Part of a college education should be learning a foreign education and becoming culturally aware. Eliminating these languages will yank that choice away.
Similar arguments can be made for many of other programs on the chopping block. These programs are vital to our diversity and prestige as a university. The social science and physical sciences programs especially have a lot to offer. Taking these programs away diminishes the college experience, rather than strengthening it. We are stripping our curriculum down to the bone.
These proposed cuts don’t make sense to us. Instead of expanding ourselves, we are shrinking. If we didn’t want to meet new people, cultures and opportunities, we would have remained in high school.
This is not the college that most of us signed up for.