MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Following West Virginia University’s decision to cut 25 academic units and more than 100 faculty, a survey of people across the country suggests that West Virginia’s aren’t the only people who opposed the cuts.
One of the most controversial cuts was the decision to completely eliminate foreign language programs at WVU and only offer a very select few foreign language courses — Spanish and Chinese. According to a survey of more than a thousand Americans by tutoring company Preply, 55% of Americans also disagree with WVU’s cuts to foreign languages.
The majority of survey participants also said that they believe WVU’s decision will spur other universities to make similar cuts to language programs.
“WVU’s decision could have a profound impact on how colleges and universities nationwide look at which programs they choose to fund,” said a Preply representative.
Additionally, 60% who took the survey said that they think eliminating foreign language majors will reduce job opportunities in international fields and 58% think it will increase language barriers in professional settings.
Only a third of respondents said that they think online learning could effectively replace in-person foreign language classes, and 57% said they would support increased state funding to prevent cuts to educational programs.
An amendment to a state bill that would have provided WVU money to level its budget deficit of $45 million was proposed back in August but ultimately failed.
Now that the program cuts have been approved by the WVU Board of Governors, the university is in the process of implementing them by notifying faculty affected by the cuts.