Universities must adapt to a new world market which places a premium on biliteracy, according to Juliet V. Garcia, president of the University of Texas at Brownsville.
Garcia, the newly elected chair of the American Council of Education, the largest national higher education organization, spoke to about 30 people last night in the Great Space Area of Robinson Hall.
"When I was going to college, they did not say 'how wonderful you are bilingual,'" said Garcia. "They said 'what are your SAT's?' Today we are saying 'you're bilingual, how wonder- ful!'"
"Now for the new world market these [language]skills are critical," added Garcia.
Garcia said that as president of U.T.Brownsville, one of her major achievments has beento develop innovative programs targeted atgraduating biliterate students.
Garcia emphasized that to produce biliteratestudents, there must be a biliterate faculty."Twenty-six percent of our faculty are takingSpanish classes," said Garcia.
She was the first Mexican-American womanpresident of an American institution of highereducation when she was chosen to head the schoolin 1986.
Garcia urged students to continue efforts toincrease faculty diversity. "Keep raising theissues; make people think that's all you thinkabout," she said.
Director of the Foundation, S. Allen Countersaid yesterday that one of its main goals is toincrease the number of minority faculty members atHarvard.
"We are happy to have Dr. Garcia as a speakerand a role model for our Chicano students," hesaid.
The event was presented by the Academic AffairsCommittee of the Harvard Foundation forIntercultural and Race Relations and co-sponsoredby Harvard-Radcliffe La Raza