Reports suggest UVa board wanted president to eliminate language programs

Apparently, her defense of the classics and German was among the reasons UVa recently ousted the presudent. As a grad student needing to beef up my foreign kanguage credentuals, I took the summer German course Herr McDonald comments on here.

William C. McDonald, director of undergraduate studies in German at the university, stressing that he was speaking only for himself, said it was “truly a mystery” to him how trustees could advocate the elimination of German. This summer, McDonald is teaching a full class in an intensive German program. He had to turn students away. The number of majors is relatively small (around 12), but most students who study German at the university, he noted, are majoring in philosophy or religion or history or want to go into the business world.

Noting that Germany is currently the key player in the European economy, McDonald said he could not believe a university like Virginia “was going to tell people they should go to North Carolina if they want to study German.” He said that it comes down to one’s “vision for a university.” The choice for the university’s leaders is “are you just about punching numbers or are you about the liberal arts?” —Inside Highed Ed.