They are indeed shutting it down — here’s a statement from Dr. Alexander Tulin to the Society for Classical Studies:
“Howard University has decided to close the Department of Classics as part of its prioritization efforts and is currently negotiating with the faculty of Classics and with other units in the College as to how they might best reposition and repurpose our programs and personnel. These discussions have been cordial, and the faculty remains hopeful that the department can be kept intact at some level, with its faculty and programs still in place.”
Cornel West and Jeremy Tate have a piece in The Washington Post today, in which words are not minced:
Academia’s continual campaign to disregard or neglect the classics is a sign of spiritual decay, moral decline and a deep intellectual narrowness running amok in American culture. Those who commit this terrible act treat Western civilization as either irrelevant and not worthy of prioritization or as harmful and worthy only of condemnation. […] The Western canon is, more than anything, a conversation among great thinkers over generations that grows richer the more we add our own voices and the excellence of voices from Africa, Asia, Latin America and everywhere else in the world.
Not sure what to say right now, beyond that my uninformed opinion is that we should probably have more Classics departments than fewer… Yr correspondent will keep an eye on things in the next few days. More as I have it!