Japanese program faces phase-out

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Shortly before Spring Break the Council on Educational Policy (CEP) recommended that the program in Japanese language, literature, and culture not be added to the regular budget for the college. The program was initiated three years ago with funding from the Freeman Foundation, but the funds from the original grant will be exhausted after the next academic year.

If the program in Japanese is ended, it will be phased out over an extended period so that students who have already begun work in the program will be able to finish their studies. Discretionary funds from the President’s Office will be used to fund selected courses through at least the 2007-08 school year.

In a faculty memo dated March 3rd, Provost Connie Hungerford described the CEP recommendation in greater detail. She estimated that funding the program as it currently exists would require about four million dollars in endowment. This money would fund one tenure-track appointment and two full-time instructors.

However, Hungerford said that even if funding becomes available “we can’t say [that] Japanese has the priority over other possible needs.”

In the most recent comprehensive academic plan, completed in 1999, Islamic Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Cognitive Science were identified as priorities. While Japanese was considered in the planning process it was not identified as a priority.

Even so, with another year of grant funding remaining there still exists a possibility that the money necessary to continue the program will be found in the interim.

Initial reporting for this article was conducted by Ken Patton but the article was reassigned due to a possible conflict of interest.

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