The Louisiana Classicist

June 9, 2010

pro lingua latina IV

Filed under: announcement — Ann E. M. Ostrom @ 9:21 am
Tags: , ,

From Jane Webb (LSU):

Letter to the Board of Supervisors, LSU

c/o: R. Blake Chatelain, Chairman

June 9, 2010

Dear Mr. Chatelain:

As a native of this state and a product of LSU’s program, particularly the MA in Latin available before the severe cuts of the mid 80’s, it is difficult to see cuts to languages again on the table. There is an appalling lack of vision and the courage it takes to realize a vision where the future of the state is concerned. These two programs are the only available degree programs for Latin and German in a public university in this state. They have provided teachers in elementary and secondary facilities throughout this state and have sent students desiring advanced degrees on to institutions throughout this country. To lose the BA at this point condemns our future program on the secondary level to dependency upon out of state recruitment for future teachers. What will we do when today’s teachers are retiring and in need of replacement? How does one recruit for a state so woefully unwilling to support academics? What does this say about our vision and courage in the face of adversity? How does LSU’s language program ever spring back from this round of cuts?

This move to cut from a core program which runs quite effectively on minimal funds is simply the next statement to the world around us: Louisiana has little creativity in the face of adversity and does not value knowledge. It refuses to see the direct connection between poorly funded institutions and the lost potential of its best and brightest. We will continue to lose students to other states with a stronger dedication and clear funding for education in general and languages particularly. How can we call ourselves the flagship when there is so little stability and security for the university’s core curriculum?

I am sad beyond belief that I not only saw the loss of the MA in Latin in the 80’s but may now see the loss of the BA degrees in both Latin and German, the last presently offered in a public institution in this state.


Jane Poynter Webb, Instructor, Latin and Classical Studies

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, LSU


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