When most scholars have their grant applications rejected by the National Endowment for the Humanities, they shrug. Only a small minority of grants are approved, so there's no way any application can be a sure thing.
On Thursday, President Bush and a bevy of government officials -- including the secretaries of state, education and defense -- announced a wide ranging plan to enhance the foreign language skills of American students.
Several college leaders applauded attention to an area that many view as underdeveloped in the United States. At the same time, others said that they needed more details about the plan -- few of which were released -- and some have expressed concern over the large Pentagon role in it.