Say What? HSU No Longer Offers French or German


Lance Brownfield

HSU will no longer offer French or German courses due to a reduction in the foreign language department.

Henderson’s budget may be on the way to recovery, but the effects of the crisis are still being felt in many departments. The department of English, Philosophy and Foreign Language has lost several key instructors and courses.

One of the biggest losses to the foreign language department can be felt in the French and German programs. When Dr. Val Gudrian, who taught both languages, retired last May, the university replaced her with adjunct professors.

With concerns over the budget, Henderson decided not to hire for these positions for the upcoming school year.

“We hoped we would be able to hire a replacement in her position and continue offering those languages,” said Dr. Angela Boswell, the dean of Ellis College of Arts and Sciences.

Because the university’s foreign language courses require students to stick with one language for four semesters, students who have already taken French 1 and 2 or German 1 and 2 will be allowed to finish their program of choice. Students will not be allowed to start French or German from this point on, however.

This means that students at Henderson only have one choice to meet their foreign language requirements. Spanish is the only offering available for the time being.

“As we always have, we will be glad to accept transfer credit from another university for Spanish, German, or French,” Boswell said. “We have not yet discussed if we will accept other languages transferred in from other universities.”

There are still many unknowns with the future of Henderson’s foreign language department, but the requirement remains for many seeking a degree at the institution.

Even though Henderson has recently aligned with the ASU system, there is no online offering for Henderson students to take in place of Spanish.

In an ever-shrinking world, languages like French and German have become important in many career fields. German is especially useful in the world of business and trade, while French can be of use to missionaries, artists and many others.

Spanish is certainly the most common second language in North America. It is a very handy language to learn and it’s a good thing that Henderson still offers it.

Henderson looks to teach German and French again whenever they are in a better place financially. Then maybe to expand the language department to its former glory, teaching other tongues such as Japanese or Russian.

Unfortunately, for now students are left with just Spanish in the course catalog. Perhaps the ASU system will help Henderson regain financial stability in the near future, so Henderson can resume teaching German and French.