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.


Phase 3

Advancing Leadership in the Study of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

The importance of language study has been prevalent in the national conversation. A recent report from the Commission on Language Learning established by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (“America’s languages: Investing in language education for the 21st century,” 2017) decries the lack of emphasis on language education and “recommends a national strategy to improve access to as many languages as possible for people of every region, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background—that is, to value language education as a persistent national need similar to education in math or English, and to ensure that a useful level of proficiency is within every student’s reach” (p. 8).

Furthermore, the scientific study of language plays a crucial role in providing basic research that supports the language teaching enterprise and informs public policy in a variety of ways. Linguistic research focusing on language description, language theory, and language as part of human cognition seeks to determine the nature of language more generally, while more applied research areas focus on the roles of language in society, and education, the preservation and documentation of the diversity of world languages, and understanding the relationship between language properties and second language learning and teaching. These facets of language study contribute to both STEM and Humanities education. A School structure where language, linguistics, literature and cultural studies are unified is a step in making the recommendations of many learned societies a reality.

A School of Language Sciences & Literary and Cultural Studies in which the study of language in all of its multiple dimensions is unified, creates a unique way to elevate this research area and more fully demonstrates its significance to an understanding of the human condition. (Action Committee report, p. 5)

School Executive Planning Committee Charge

The School Executive Planning Committee is charged to:

  • Oversee and manage the necessary steps toward the creation of the School of Language Sciences & Literary and Cultural Studies during the AY 2017-2018;
  • Consult with the Dean’s office regarding the appointment of search committees for the inaugural School Director and the Director of CeLTA;
  • Create and execute a plan to implement the recommendations outlined by the Action Committee in section IV.2, “Next Steps” as appropriate;
  • Engage faculty from all units associated with the new School in the transition process so that a culture of trust, transparency, and collaboration takes root in the new School;
  • The EPC Chair will work with the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies to continue facilitating the implementation of School Collaboration Grants;
  • Submit a final report of this implementation to the Dean.

Read the complete charge to the School Executive Planning Committee here.

The Executive Planning Committee

The EPC is composed of chairs of the two existing language departments, the co-directors of CeLTA, and faculty representatives from RCS and LGSAAL:

  • ROCÍO QUISPE-AGNOLI, Chair of EPC, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Interim Co-Chair, RCS
  • JASON MERRILL, Professor of Russian Studies, and Interim Chair, LGSAAL
  • SUSAN GASS, University Distinguished Professor, LGSAAL, TESOL and SLS, and Co-Director of CeLTA
  • DAVID PRESTEL, Professor of Russian Studies, LGSAAL and Co-Director of CeLTA
  • ANTHONY GRUBBS, Associate Professor of Spanish, Associate Chair, RCS
  • SAFOI BABANA-HAMPTON, Associate Professor of French, RCS
  • CARMEN DE LORENZO, Instructor of Italian, RCS
  • JOSEBA GABILONDO, Associate Professor of Spanish, RCS
  • YORE KEDEM, Assistant Professor of Hebrew, LGSAAL
  • CAMELIA SULEIMAN, Assistant Professor of Arabic Studies, LGSAAL
  • CHARLENE POLIO, Professor of TESOL and Second Language Studies, LGSAAL
  • JENNIFER TETREAU, Office Supervisor, LGSAAL and RCS*
  • MELISSA STAUB, Project Manager, College of Arts and Letters.*
* For additional information, contact the main office of LGSAAL and RCS at (517) 355-8352 and the Dean’s office of the College of Arts and Letters at (517) 355-4597 or (517) 432-0433.

Phase 3 Calendar

August 16, 2017
Constitution of Search Committee for the Director of the School

August 21, 2017
Final job description for the School Director from search committee
Download Search Committee Process Document
Download Language School Director Description

September 1, 2017
Constitution of Search Committee for the Director of CeLTA

September 8, 2017
Final job description for the CeLTA Director from search committee
Download Search Committee Process Document
Download CeLTA Director Description

November 9, 2017
The MSU School of Language Research Collaborative Showcase

December 1, 2017
Submission of draft bylaws (French, German, Linguistics, Second Language Studies, Spanish) to School EPC.

January 26, 2018
Town Hall meeting led by the School EPC.
* Town Hall meeting presentation includes information from Appendices E and F from the Action Committee Final Report (Phase 2). Click here: Appendices Final Report Action Committee May 15, 2017, and scroll down to page 31.
2018 School Updates and Voting Logistics
Town Hall Meeting Q&A

January 29 to January 31st, 2018

January 31st, 2018
Voting outcomes reported to the Dean’s office, faculty, academic staff, and staff.
A vote was taken by the faculty and there was not sufficient support to move forward with the School

February 16, 2018
Meeting with Dean and faculty, academic staff, and staff.

March 1, 2018
Survey ad-hoc committee formed.

Phase 3 Updates

October 31, 2017 (PDF)

November 29, 2017: Program Bylaws Q&A (PDF)