Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cuts in Hebrew at Temple U

Hebrew major cut deserves a fair compromise

January 30, 2012 by Donald Hopkins
Filed under Commentary, Opinion, (The Temple News)

PMHopkins argues that while the decision to cut Hebrew as a major is logical, the non-tenured track position is still necessary.

This year, many of the interdisciplinary programs have fallen to the wayside, in the wake of budget cuts and student apathy toward certain academic subjects. Recently, Temple administration announced its intentions to eliminate the Hebrew major effective Fall 2012 and consolidate it within the Jewish studies major. Furthermore, the administration plans to eliminate the only non-tenured track position for Hebrew – occupied by Dr. Ayala Guy. Temple has justified this consolidation as part of a larger trend to save money as well as a response to lack of student interest.

Two questions have to be addressed, when considering whether this elimination and consolidation of the Hebrew major is a good idea for the university and its’ student body. First, is there a benefit to Hebrew existing outside the Jewish studies program as a separate major? Second, is the plan to eliminate the only stable teaching position for the Hebrew language, conducive to the study of language?

The authorities at Temple do seem to be trying to think this through and not just make random cuts to meet a budget. As long as these cuts have been preceded by, say, the cutting of two administrative posts, I would say they are reasonable.