Nov 30, 2010 8:00 PM by Maddie Garrett
University of Louisiana students might have fewer choices when it comes to signing up for classes soon, as another program could be on the chopping block.
KATC's Maddie Garrett talked with students and University officials Tuesday about the budget problems and what it could mean for students.
University officials summoned the German Department chair and other faculty to a closed meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the uncertain future of the program, and possibly cutting the entire department.
Dr. Caroline Huey is the only German professor and the Department Chair. She was escorted by dozens of faculty and students on her way to the meeting as a sign of support for the German program.
"It is wonderful to be supported, my department is a an amazing department who has supported me ever since I came to work here. And I love UL and I love the Modern Languages Department," said Huey.
She not only teaches all of the classes, but even helps students get involved in work and study abroad programs in Germany. German Major Clay Guillory says Huey helped him land a job for a year in Germany working for BMW.
"It was really the best experience of my life and I owe it all to her and the German program," said Guillory.
But future students may not have the opportunities Clay did, because the University is looking at possibly cutting the entire German Department.
"Whether or not the program will be cut is based upon the information that we gathered today, combining it with the information that we had, looking at and comparing this program with all the other programs and looking at what we might do to be more efficient," said UL Provost Dr. Steve Landry.
Landry says the University already had 20% percent budget cuts in the last 18 months, and now it's all about becoming more efficient.
"On the horizon there's significant concern that there's another really large budget cut coming," he explained.
Landry says other departments are also on the table as they focus on programs with low student interest. There are currently only 4 German majors at UL, but cutting the program would also effect all students wishing to take German as their foreign language elective.
"It is a small group of majors but we are all very passionate about the language and expanding our educational horizons," said Claire Dronet, also a German Major at UL.
UL officials did not make any decisions at Tuesday's meeting. It could be weeks, even months, before UL decides what programs get to stay and which ones get the ax. If the German Department does get cut, the University has policies in place to make sure existing students can finish their course work.