Skip to main content


12:30 pm PDT / 2:30 pm CDT / 3:30 pm EDT / 21:30 (Hora España)

A Thousand Little Cuts and Too Many Big Ones. College and University Language/Literature/Culture Faculty Speak Out Against the Elimination of Programs

Moderators: Steven Torres and Ellen Mayock

The recent announcement by West Virginia University that it intends to cut all of its «foreign language» departments and several other major programs (*see this Washington Post article and this statement by WVU professor Jonah Katz) has captured the attention of the United States public in a way few similarly devastating cuts have in the past. We at ALCESXXI share the sense of alarm and are deeply concerned that a flagship university like West Virginia can make the abrupt decision to discontinue 32 majors and eliminate 7% of its faculty. The effects of these decisions, profound for present and future students, will endure over several generations, mortgaging important training in deep, broad, interdisciplinary knowledge, thinking, and problem-solving for a market-driven sense of what is «pre-professional.» 

This ALCESXXI colloquium will feature several speakers, who will share their experiences with language program cuts, and then open up to a broader conversation to allow us to trace the key issues, brainstorm possible solutions, and suggest concrete actions.

In preparation for our conversation we will read:

The Humanities Are Worth Fighting For

The Cuts at WVU