President Bush is expected to tell dozens of college and university presidents tomorrow of an administration plan to spend hundreds of millions of additional dollars on training in foreign languages deemed critical to the United States. Arabic, other Middle Eastern languages, and Chinese are expected to be a focus -- potentially providing for a significant expansion of study by American students, who are notoriously monolingual.
The issue of academic freedom was everywhere at this year's Modern Language Association meeting, in Washington. There were panels on "Academic Work and the New McCarthyism" and discussions on teaching issues related to war criticism.
At a Friday session, titled "Criticism and Crisis: Twenty-First Century Intellectuals and the Politics of Academic Freedom," the focus was how to build broader support among the general public for academic freedom.