ACTFL condemns in the strongest terms the proposed elimination of world language programs at WVU. This decision is short-sighted and contrary to WVU’s mission of “leading transformation in West Virginia and the world through local, state and global engagement.” It is a broken promise to every member of WVU’s faculty and student body. Further, it disproportionately affects marginalized and underrepresented communities, and disadvantages WVU graduates in an increasingly global job market, putting them a step behind their peers from other states and regions.
WVU’s R1 status as a top research university may be jeopardized by this decision, and it sends a clear message that WVU’s administration does not value research in the humanities or the social sciences. It could also have a negative impact on the ability to recruit K-12 teachers for world language programs across the state.
We stand in solidarity with the students, faculty, alumni, and community members who will be affected by this decision. We urge West Virginia University to live up to its commitment to educational excellence—including intercultural competence acquired through live instruction— and preserve the benefits that world language brings to its campus community.
ACTFL is actively working with JNCL-NCLIS and other groups to oppose this recommendation. We are also in contact with WVU leadership to urge them to reconsider this ill-advised decision. WVU students and faculty deserve better.