Let's keep Dr. Egi and Dr. Lee!!
Due to the budget crisis, UF and its administrations are making sacrifices that are going to impact all aspects of the university. As proposed by President Machen and his Board of Trustees, two of our Japanese professors - Dr. Takako Egi and Dr. Helen Lee - will be laid off after 2010, in addition to the removal of the Korean and Vietnamese Language Programs. Though all the departments are affected, the African and Asian Language and Lit (AALL) Dept. faces the most consequences, comprising 35% of the university\'s entire layoff of faculty. This includes 6 faculty, all of whom are minority and 5 of whom are women. Considering these numbers, it is doubtful whether the university is truly committed to cultural diversity and equality. It\'s inconceivable to remove two such integral parts of our Japanese faculty. Dr. Lee trades off teaching several classes with Dr. Murphy, and without her input students in our department have only one perspective available from which to approach a class. Within our own department, she provides diversity in interpreting information and a radically different class experience, and is always willing to disagree and contradict, which further diversifies the opinions available to students in our department. She also deeply cares about her students and inspires great loyalty. Dr. Egi, in addition to teaching Japanese language classes, also teaches English-language content courses and is particularly helpful in the linguistics department. The fact that this year both she and Professor Uotate had to each teach a 3rd year class also suggests that our department is growing, making this the WORST time to cut core people! Aside from that, Dr. Egi has a wonderful teaching style and can adapt to any student, and her classes are very educational. Our Japanese program is excellent. Up until last year we were even the only university in the state to offer a Japanese major in Florida. It would be embarrassing now to take a step in the other direction by crippling the department and removing these two invaluable teachers. UF needs the diversity the Japanese department provides. To lose these two professors would also result in a loss of the unique and priceless attributes each provides in the classroom and out. It would surely negatively affect the sense of community and security our students feel in such an intimate program. In a global world Japanese can no longer be written off as unnecessary, and the students in our program need what these professors have to offer in order to get a complete education and be best prepared to fully integrate in post-college life. We don\'t want to lower the quality of our foreign language and culture education, and these professors cannot be replaced. We are aware that the budget-cut is going to affect the fiscal year in ALL areas of the university, but for the sake of our excellent Japanese program we request that Dr. Egi and Dr. Lee be allowed to stay past 2010. This petition is meant for ANYONE whether you are a UF, in-state, out of state, or even an international student!!! We need to show the UF administration the power in numbers!! PLEASE SIGN AND ACT NOW!! It is of utmost importance that you do so before President Machen and his Board of Trustees make any final decisions on May 15th!! Thank you for your help! The students in the Japanese Program at the University of Florida Representative: Lauren Ammerman