While I can see where the recommendations are coming from and I like them overall, I'm trying to fit these ideals into the university systems that we all know and love. Here are the four and some possible real-world reactions.
1. English majors should be able to read literature in a second language. The short version is that about 4/5 of universities had this requirement forty years ago and about 1/5 have it today.
No, that's too harsh. I think this is a praiseworthy requirement for all the reasons that the report mentions. But is this a realistic requirement? At a minimum, English majors could decamp in droves for less demanding departments. Also, there are only so many credits that a university can require, so many courses that it can offer with a given number of faculty, so many classrooms, and so forth. So what gets tossed out of the Graduation Credits Lifeboat to make room for, say, 15 hours of foreign language instruction?
2. Coherence of course sequences and requirements. Nobody ever says, "Hey, let's make an incoherent course sequence." All the reasons for course requirements seem logical at the time.
But over time, course requirements are subject to mission creep. Maybe the administration has a pet idea that it thinks all students should be exposed to and mandates* required courses in that area. Maybe Dr. Famous Senior Scholar thinks all students should learn about the poetic qualities of widgets and bullies the curriculum committee into making a required course in Widget Poetics. The best use of this part of the report may lie in getting departments to rethink these requirements.
3. The primacy of the study of literature. Again, I like the idea (this being my job, after all), and at first couldn't see any harm in advising that students learn to read complex texts and write well about them. On second thought, though, I can see how all this talk about richness of literary texts, discussing complexity, etc. is going to bring out faculty with the long knives who hate any signs of life in F.R. Leavis and the Great Tradition. Also, new forms of media get mentioned only as "information retrieval systems." Ouch. That isn't going to please people working in this area.
4. Inclusion of all faculty ranks in decisions and teaching. Absolutely right, although again: how might this work in the real world? I don't mean shared decision-making; I mean the recommendation to have senior people teach first-year and gen ed courses.
This would be beneficial in a lot of ways, but here's the problem: How will you get them to do this, aside from making some kind of mandate? Who's going to tell Professor Senior Scholar, Endowed Chair, that he's been assigned an Intro to Lit instead of Widget Poetics? Unless every, and I do mean every, senior person signs on to this and understands its value, it won't happen.
So am I being too much of a pessimist here? How would these work at your university?
*[Edited to add: Not "mandates," of course, but "suggests," as in suggesting that if you ever want to see adequate funding again, you will consider teaching courses in this area.]