Guest FC: 86 college and university presidents join to fight 40 percent slash in federal funds for languages. And guess who did not.


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The following was written before the agreement between President Obama and Congressional leaders to slash $2 trillion in public spending -- and trust FC, that won't help at all.


While El Presidente (was) off on his world tour, the presidents of at least 86 other universities and colleges across the US - including Columbia, Cornell, Stanford and Princeton -- have been busy inking their names on a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee.

The letter, which Brodhead has not signed,

(available here: http://www.indiana.edu/~iunews/TitleVI.pdf )

urges the restoration of funds to foreign languages and cultures programs under the HEA -Title VI / Fulbright-Hays. These have been slashed by 40% for the coming fiscal year, due to the bitter deficit reduction negotiations on Capitol Hill. Many departments and centers at Duke and beyond rely heavily on this funding. Accordingly, they are forced to reduce both
programming and faculty: particularly as the woefully underfunded language arts are often staffed by cheap, visiting contract labor.

You'd think Brodhead would be minded to take a stand on this, what with Duke's huge emphasis on foreign language study and, if for no other reason, the fact that cutting the study of foreign languages and cultures is a downhill slope to Philistinism. (It's also, incidentally, exactly what happened at the end of the Cold War, until 9-11 when the US government suddenly realized, 'Wait ... where are all our trained Dari and Pashto speakers?')

But, clearly, he's far too busy high-fiving with various obscure dignitaries across the globe to even put a signature on this letter. And will he be dipping into the university budget to make up the shortfall? Probably not.

Fact Checker add: This is not the first time when President Brodhead has failed to show leadership on a national issue critical to universities. Last December 8, Fact Checker listed university presidents who had endorsed the Dream Act, which would affect the status of many illegal aliens, including those who graduated from a four year college who faced deportation. The President of Dartmouth spoke out fully four years before Brodhead, and that merely begins the list. Brodhead spoke at the last minute with a whisper, sending a private letter to North Carolina's Senator Hagan.

Fact Checker has also previously discussed Brodhead's lobbying activities, including the failure to support national legislation affecting student loans and other financial aid.

Does anyone see a pattern?

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