: NPR's Margot Adler has more.
MARGOT ADLER: David Wills is a professor of French. At first he was shocked. Then he was angry.
DAVID WILLS: None of us accepted that it was something that a university could do and still call itself a university. This is not a university if you only have one non-English, European language program left standing.
ADLER: To be fair, you will still be able to take some classes in these subjects, but not major in them.
SUNY A: The World Within Reach.
ALEXANDRA CIALEO: How is the world within reach when a school is going to take away the foreign language department so you can't communicate around the world? It's just saddens me, because I have such a passion for the language and the culture and I want to become a teacher someday.
ADLER: Albany Provost Susan Phillips says up until now, cuts in the humanities had been 4 percent - less than in other areas.
SUSAN PHILLIPS: The faculty losses, actually, so far, have been much more on the social sciences and professional schools side.
ADLER: And she emphasizes up to this point, no decisions have been made to close down these programs permanently. But that's not how it feels to Victoria Savino, a senior majoring in English, minoring in classics. Reading Latin, she says...
VICTORIA SAVINO: That completely changed my entire mentality for the rest of college. I will now read my children Ovid before they go to sleep before I read them Dr. Seuss.
ADLER: What makes her mad is when she sees campus buildings being renovated that seem perfectly fine.
SAVINO: And I can't study what I want to study.
ADLER: But Julie Gondor, a senior majoring in public policy and the president of the student assembly, says many students don't understand the complexities. For example, construction is a separate fund.
JULIE GONDOR: I definitely feel for these students that came in wanting to major in these programs.
ADLER: But Gondor says this is a larger political battle that has to go to the legislature.
GONDOR: My tuition needs to be going back into the SUNY system and into the campus that I'm going to.
ADLER: In New York State and a few other states, the state takes the tuition. Nancy Zimpher, the chancellor of the entire 64-campus SUNY system, says tuition is paid to the state, but it's the legislature that decides how much of it goes to each campus.
NANCY ZIMPHER: They re-appropriate it to us, and in the last session, only gave us 10 percent back. That, to me, sounds like a tax on people who are seeking to better themselves by higher education.
ADLER: But that doesn't answer Victoria Savino, who says she learned the most in a Latin class with two other people.
SAVINO: But, hey, I'm also in a lecture center, a sociology class, that has 300 people in it. Yeah, that class is really popular, but I haven't learned one thing.
ADLER: Freshman Jessica Stapf won an appeal, met with tons of advisers and will finish her French requirements by 2012.
JESSICA STAPF: My dreams mean more than anything else. I'm not going to let them stop me.
ADLER: Margot Adler, NPR News, New York.
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