September 5th. 2005,
Sent to New York Times Book Review but not published

At Mr Sleeper's University the decline in graduate language requirements occurred many years ago. When I was a graduate student in 1964, the Graduate Faculty -- after an impassioned plea to retain the liberal education ideal by Henri Peyre, the distinguished French scholar -- the graduate faculty voted to reduce the language requirement from two to one language. Martin Shubik, the economist, told his colleagues that next year he would be back to propose that one of the permissible languages for study would be Fortran!