Bob Schoman professor emeritus

Box 27647
Las Vegas NV 89126-1647
Telephone: (702) 876-8653
25 March 2010
Dr. Neal Smatresk
President, University of Nevada at Las Vegas
4504 South Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154
Dear Dr. Smatresk:
In 1995, I moved to Las Vegas after my retirement from a professorship in English at the
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, where I taught for seventeen years. Prior to
that, I was a full professor at Duke University for fifteen years and prior to that had shorter
teaching stints at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and San Jose State
University. A major factor in my coming to Las Vegas was the excellence of UNLV,
especially its fine research facilities. They enabled me to continue my research, writing,
and publishing, as I have done for the past fifteen years.
During my time in Las Vegas, I have come to appreciate some of its programs, one of
which, the English Language Center, seems now to be under consideration for termination
as the budget crisis grows. ESL is a particular interest to me. As director of the writing
program in the English Department at the University of Illinois, I helped to establish
courses for the benefit of international students. I have also served as a long-term
consultant in ESL to King Faisal University in Saudi Arabia on several occasions.
With this background, I was eager to know more about the ESL program at UNLV. I have
observed some of the classes in the English Language Center and have been extremely
pleased with the manner in which these classes were conducted. The teaching methods
are up to date and effective. In recent years, the visual aids available to instructors and
students have been outstanding.
At a time when internationalism is of the utmost national importance, I would hate to think
that a program as fine as that of the English Language Center might be on the chopping
block. This program reaches enormous numbers of foreign students, most of whom will
continue their studies at UNLV and many of whom will remain in the United States as
contributing members of society once they complete their formal studies.
I can only imagine the economic pressures that face you as president of the University, but
I certainly wish to express my confidence in the English Language Center as it currently
exists here. Its contribution to UNLV and to the Las Vegas community is substantial.
Sincerely yours,
R. Baird Shuman
Professor of English Emeritus
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign