On behalf of the Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies, I write to express our concern about Clarion University's Workforce Plan, which involves cutting 22 faculty members. This plan will also eliminate course offerings in French and German. JNCL and NCLIS represent 78 professional organizations and research centers engaged in the language enterprise in the United States. JNCL and NCLIS advocate on behalf of the 500,000 American language professionals working in the public and private sector providing education, translation, interpreting, globalization, localization and many other professional services to America's students, businesses and government agencies.
Knowledge of a foreign language is essential in the globalized world we live in and to national interest as it relates to national security and economic competitiveness. Recent events such as 9/11, two wars in the Middle East and the Arab Spring have increased the demand for foreign language experts. Many industries in the United States are in need of language professionals. The cognitive benefits of learning a language to the individual are tremendous, and graduates with knowledge of a foreign language are more sought after by employers.
Retaining these language programs is beneficial to the quality of education at Clarion University, the students and to the nation as a whole.
WILLIAM P. RIVERS
Joint National Committee for Languages-National Council for Languages and International Studies