Request for support from UF linguists

Jessi Elana Aaron jeaaron at
Sat May 10 22:26:32 UTC 2008

Dear fellow Funknetters,

As some of you may have heard, the University of Florida has 
recently taken $47 million in cuts.
An article on this is in the Chronicle, at 

The President's plan for cuts falls disproportionately heavily on 
the Humanities, in particular on the language programs. As a 
linguist in Romance Languages (Spanish), I fear that these 
proposed cuts will permanently damage our ability to provide 
quality education in linguistics, especially for those interested 
in languages other than English.

The proposed cuts include:

Elimination of PhD program in French
Elimination of PhD program in German
Elimination of PhD program in Philosophy
Elimination of language instruction in Vietnamese and Korean
The current departments of African & Asian Languages and 
Literatures, Germanic & Slavic Studies and Romance Languages and 
Literatures will be reformulated into a Department of Modern 
Foreign Languages and a Department of Spanish Language and 

Many members of the humanities faculty are concerned with the 
elimination of the PhD programs in particular. In the case of 
French, it is one of few in the nation to offer a French 
linguistics track at the PhD level, and this will be lost. Also 
lost will be the possibility for doctoral students interested in 
cross-linguistic Romance to benefit from collaboration with both 
Spanish and French faculty. Many of us are also dismayed by the 
bundling of all modern languages--except Spanish--into one 
department, which sends a message to students that languages are 
not as diverse or as important as we all know them to be.

Many feel that the faculty and chairs were not adequately 
consulted (see 
), and are asking for support from the professional community to 
provide evidence that such cuts are damaging to UF's reputation 
and therefore detrimental to the long-term health of UF as an 
institution of higher education. If you would like to comment on 
these cuts, please visit 

Thank you for your support,

Jessi Elana Aaron


Jessi Elana Aaron, PhD
Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics
Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures
University of Florida

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