Support East Asian Language Education sign now

Dear Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Dean Breslauer, and Dean Broughton:





We, the undersigned, protest the cuts made to UC Berkeley's East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) Department. In the 2007 academic year, 3200 students took EALC language classes. Because of the cuts, EALC will only be able to accommodate 1500 students in 2008. EALC will have no choice but to deny at least 1500 students the opportunity to learn Chinese, Japanese or Korean. 66\% of Korean classes, 54\% of Chinese classes, and 40\% of Japanese classes on campus will be eliminated as of Fall 2008. These numbers do not include the hundreds of students already turned away each year. Not only will the number of courses offered by EALC be drastically reduced, the Korean program faces outright extinction. The Korean program at present sustains just a minor. At least this much must be preserved.





During the next academic year, students outside of the College of Letters and Science will not be able to take Korean, Chinese or Japanese. Most of EALC's language teaching is not for its own students but is a service to the university at large. Under these cuts, EALC canВ no longer provide this service to the university. Current EALC language students outside of L&S will be unable to proceed with their studies next year. Affected students include those from the Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, the Law School and the Graduate School of Journalism. If the cuts remain into the near future EALC will likely have to limit enrollment to EALC students. Students in departments such as Economics, Political Science, and History will not be able to enroll. Undergraduate students may not be able to fulfill requirements, and graduate students may no longer be able to complete MA/PhD work in a number of areas.





Cutting language classes to this extent seriously undermines Berkeley's stated mission to be a global university preparing a well educated and properly skilled citizenry. East Asian languages are among the most in-demand languages on the Berkeley campus. As heritage languages to a huge percentage of the student population (over 40\%), East Asian languages are a vital resource and part of the multiethnic fabric of Berkeley, the United States, and the Pacific Rim. Most importantly, they give each student access to one of the most dynamic regions in the world. If these cuts remain, Berkeley must forfeit its claim to be a global university and settle for being second rate.





We, the undersigned, demand the University of California Berkeley Administration bring transparency to the budget cut process to insure that the cuts are distributed in a democratic fashion resonant with the spirit of a public university. In this vein, we urge the administration to involve representatives from all sectors of the undergraduate and graduate student body in such decision processes in the future. Furthermore, should it come to light that the administration is distributing budget cuts disproportionately among departments, we urge the administration to reconsider these decisions. We urge Provost George Breslauer to make discretionary funds available to EALC for language education. Finally, we urge the administration to make a commitment to insuring the survival and flourishing of Korean Studies at UC Berkeley.


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Nettie WattsBy:
Business and CompaniesIn:
Petition target:
Chancellor Birgeneau, Executive Dean Breslauer, and Dean Broughton

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