West Virginia University Drops French and German Majors
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The U.S. fertility rate peaked around 2006 during the Housing Bubble and collapsed around 2008. So American colleges have long been leerily worried about the years around the years 2025-2027, when they expect applicants to drop sharply.

West Virginia is a poor state with the lowest NAEP school test scores among whites, which have been dropping in this century as West Virginians with something on the ball have moved out to more promising states.

Now West Virginia U. has announced that it’s dropping several majors such as French and German, and will end advanced programs in creative writing and math. Tyler Cowen suggests that language majors are obsolete in an era in which AI has made translation more or less free. I wouldn’t know, however. I speak only English so I’m agnostic on this question.

My impression is that professors of grievance studies are not (yet) a huge part of university budgets. But random staffers are.

The president of WVU is E. Gordon Gee, a pretty hilarious guy who has been a university president for most years since 1985. From USA Today in 2013:

College football proved to be Gordon Gee’s undoing
George Schroeder USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Gee could not withstand his own series of ill-advised choices of speech

… But Ohio State’s president—who said Tuesday he would retire effective July 1—was undone by his own remarks, including that especially infamous line. When asked in March 2011 whether the school had considered firing embattled coach Jim Tressel, a grinning Gee said: “No. Are you kidding? Let me just be very clear. I’m just hopeful the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

Tressel resigned two months later. Gee lasted two more years. But his exit was hastened by remarks made last December at a meeting of the school’s Athletics Council, which came to light last week after an open-records request. Among other statements, Gee referred to Notre Dame officials as “those damn Catholics,” and said, “The fathers are holy on Sunday, and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week.” …

Even before the remarks from last December became public, Gee’s greatest hits list of gaffes (usually followed by apologies) was lengthy: He disparaged the football schedules of national title hopefuls Boise State and TCU, saying Ohio State did not play “the Little Sisters of the Poor.” He likened the complex job of running a university to “the Polish Army.” …

I don’t get that joke, but it’s probably pretty funny.

After the “Little Sisters of the Poor” crack in 2010, Gee said he shouldn’t publicly comment on college football. Referring to his trademark bow ties, he said: “What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football.”

[Comment at Unz.com]

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