http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/the-conversation-newheader.pngBy Mark Bauerlein. According to the Modern Language Association, in the late 1960s and early 70s, English accounted for about 7.5 percent of all bachelor’s degrees granted in the United States, but the portion plummeted to around 3.5 percent in the early 80s, climbed a bit to nearly 5 percent in the early 90s, then dropped steadily to 3.47 percent in 2004.  English has gone from a major unit in the university to a minor one, its standing propped up largely by freshman writing requirements and creative-writing courses. At Emory University, where I teach English, when I arrived in 1989 and soon became director of undergraduate studies, the number of majors reached 350. Today, our majors linger at around 150. Read more...