UNC-system administrators are working to expand foreign language learning opportunities for students as part of an initiative they hope will save money in the long run.
Representatives from 12 system schools participated in a teleconference Friday and discussed expanding the system’s established language study consortia and creating new ways to collaborate, said Ruth Gross, head of N.C. State University’s department of foreign languages and literatures, in an email.
The representatives discussed ways to make more foreign language classes available, said Gross, who participated in the teleconference.
Universities would utilize distance education along with study abroad opportunities and summer programs, administrators said.
But making these accommodations might cost money — something in high demand and short supply for system universities.
These initiatives would provide access to less commonly taught language classes via distance education or other programs so administrators wouldn’t create a new program to accommodate a small number of students.
Jeff Braden, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at N.C. State, who helped spearhead the effort to explore collaborative options, said university administrators might ask the system for funding. But he knows more budget cuts are coming.
“I’d love to operate under the assumption that I’m going to get more money, but I think that would be foolish of me as a dean,” he said.
Both Braden and Tony Calamai, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, said the group is planning to submit an example of proposed collaborative efforts to the UNC-system administrators.
“One of the things that the UNC General Administration told us in our discussion was to forget about the barriers for now,” said Calamai, who is leading the effort with Braden.