Exploring and planning for a position of international leadership in the study of languages, from the cultures and societies they embody, to the ways they are taught and learned, to the science of language acquisition and linguistics.



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About Advancing Our Leadership

The College of Arts & Letters has recognized strengths in all of these areas, but we do not currently have the infrastructure that will enable us to establish ourselves as one of the leading universities for the study of languages in the world. We have many of the components in place, but we are missing a way to showcase and support these components in ways that reflect and advance our position as a leader in language studies. In order to accomplish this, we need to establish an academic and administrative structure that will enhance collaborations across languages, to compete for more prestigious and larger external funding, to develop more innovative approaches and initiatives, and to differentiate ourselves from our peers.

Between May and October of 2016 an Exploratory and Planning Task Force was charged to investigate and begin planning for the creation of what might be called a “School of Language Studies” (final name tbd) that would include the programs currently housed in two separate departments, the Department of Romance and Classical Studies (RCS) and the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages (LGSAAL), and the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA).

The Exploratory and Planning Task Force submitted its final report and recommendations to Dean Long on October 1, 2016 (available under “Task Force Report” above). The Dean accepted their recommendations and, on November 1, 2016, constituted an Action Committee to further develop a plan for a School that would undergo university review in AY2017-18 and begin operation by the fall semester 2018.


Action Committee Members

The ten-member Action Committee includes two co-chairs, one from each department, two members who serve(d) in leadership roles in the departments appointed by Dean Christopher P. Long, four members recommended by the departments’ advisory committees, and two members representing fixed-term faculty from both departments. The members include:


  • SUSAN GASS, University Distinguished Professor, LGSAAL, TESOL and SLS
  • ROCÍO QUISPE-AGNOLI, Professor of Hispanic Studies, RCS

Department Leadership Representatives

  • SONJA FRITZSCHE, Professor of German and Chair, LGSAAL
  • ANNE VIOLIN-WIGENT, Associate Professor of French, 2014-2015 Associate Chair, RCS

Department  Advisory Committee Representatives

  • SAFOI BABANA-HAMPTON,  Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, RCS
  • MIGUEL CABAÑAS, Associate Professor of Latin American and Chicano/Latino Studies, 2015-2016 Associate Chair, RCS
  • ALAN MUNN, Associate Professor of Linguistics, LGSAAL
  • TZE-LAN SANG, Professor of Chinese, LGSAAL

Fixed-term Faculty/Academic Specialists Representatives

  • ADOLFO AUSIN, Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics, RCS
  • ZAREMA KUMAKHOVA, Assistant Professor of Russian, LGSAAL

Administrative Assistant and Fiscal Officer, CAL**


**For more information please contact AMY KLAPKO at (517) 884-6767 or