The English Language Improvement Program, better known as ELIP, has faithfully provided academic and global communication assistance to thousands of international and domestic students. ELIP faculty have historically led the adoption of technological innovation in education at Ohio University through their international projects and domestic online classes. In this time of a global pandemic, where online classes are becoming the norm, these skills are needed now more than ever. Instead of valuing these skills, the administration has decided to close the program.
By doing so, the university has put at risk those partnerships ELIP faculty have endeavored to produce, not to mention a steady line of experience and income for students who work on said projects. In addition, both the ELIP Writing & Presentation Labs are now in limbo. These labs, open to all students, provide essential services throughout the semester. All of this, along with the shortsighted decision to fire OPIE instructors, has shown the administration does not value OU’s international community.
We call upon the administration to recant these decisions and instead look to other solutions to the budget crisis, such as the Open Source Alternative Budget. If OU will not value programs that specifically cater to our international student community — programs that celebrate initiatives of enabling local and foreign students to come together and understand each other despite language and cultural differences — then the university will no longer be doing its job in upholding its so-called “global mission.” It will fail to show and give importance to global exchange and to a community that we pride ourselves in having. OU will fail to show it is a leading intellectual and welcoming force in the world. And if anything, now is the time to show leadership.
Alumni of the Applied Linguistics MA Program
Class of 2020
Rickey Larkin Jr. is an alumnus of the applied linguistics master’s program at at Ohio University. Please note that the opinions expressed in letters do not reflect those of The Post.