UL students concerned about the future of the German-language degree program are circulating a petition on campus and have established an on-line petition urging the administration not to discontinue the program.

On Tuesday, Dr. Caroline Huey, the coordinator of the program and the lone German instructor at UL, was summoned to the office of Provost Steve Landry to meet with Landry and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Carolyn Bruder. No decision was made at that meeting and the group will likely meet again next spring to review the program. But it’s little secret on campus that more drastic budget cuts to higher education will come down from the state next year and that programs with low numbers of majors are in the greatest jeopardy of being discontinued. Currently four students are majoring in German at UL and about half a dozen are minoring in the language; other students take German courses to satisfy foreign-language requirements for their majors. Last year the state Board of Regents eliminated the philosophy degree program at UL due to a low completion rate.

“A lot of the students are working very hard to prevent this because there’s a lot of students who enjoy the German program and it’s very important to many people,” says UL senior Claire Dronet, who has a double major in English and German and who is one of the students pushing the petition drive. “It gives me an opportunity to study about German culture and the German language. It’s a part of our cultural diversity in Louisiana as well. Seven percent of Louisiana is of German heritage.”

Sign the on-line petition here.

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