Southeastern proposes cutting French programs
Contact: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University will request approval to terminate its undergraduate degree programs in French and French education in order to help meet reduced state budget allocations, university officials announced today.
The formal request will be presented to the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors at the governing body’s meeting next week.
Letters were sent today (June 17) to tenured faculty members and students enrolled in the programs notifying them of the proposed termination, said Tammy Bourg, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
The proposal includes combining the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the Department of Communication to create a new Department of Languages and Communication.
Bourg said every reasonable effort will be made to allow students currently enrolled in the programs to complete their degrees. No new enrollments will be accepted starting with the fall 2010 semester, and students will have until the end of the summer 2011 semester to complete their French course requirements.
“Considering Louisiana’s rich history and cultural heritage, it is unfortunate that the state’s budget situation has forced the proposed termination of these programs,” Bourg said. “We sincerely regret having to make this recommendation. While the budget situation requires us to make difficult decisions, we make those decisions cautiously to minimize potential negative impact on our students.”
A recent comprehensive review of all academic programs at Southeastern, which involved faculty, staff and students at multiple levels, generated prioritization criteria and associated qualitative and quantitative data, including factors such as number of majors, number of completers, student credit hour production, class load factors, program costs and impact on regional culture, workforce and economy.
According to President John L. Crain, this recommendation is part of an ongoing effort by the university to manage budget reductions by drastically reducing operating resources and seeking efficiencies.
“The magnitude of budget challenges dictates that we reduce and, in some cases, eliminate community outreach programs as well as core academic programs,” he wrote in a recent campus communication. “The extent of further program reductions, along with related layoffs and organizational changes, will directly reflect the magnitude of future budget reductions.”