To University of Montana Provost Jon Harbor:
Are the recommendations you are making in the Missoulian article titled “Officials take up online education” of Jan. 25 backed by knowledge you’ve acquired from past experiences? If so, could you give us an example where an electronic language program has prepared a student for both the linguistic and cultural nuances necessary to successfully navigate in that foreign culture?
I’m also curious to know if the online language course you are recommending is coming from the Confucius Center or the State? To my knowledge, the Confucius Center is supported solely by the Chinese government.
As acknowledged by Chair Matthew Semanoff, describing the domino effect of cutting one full-time Chinese lecturer ultimately to half-time in the Chinese minor program, all East Asian programs within the UM curriculum are diminished. It is the students who are paying the ultimate price.
Do we want money or value to define the UM mission? Food for thought.