Carlos D. Fandal began a long and productive career in language education as a high school teacher in 1960. By 1968 he had earned the PhD in Romance Languages from LSU and had assumed a position on the faculty of ULM, where he became the first head of the Department of Foreign Languages and later Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the first Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. After his retirement in 2009, he received the distinction of Professor and Dean Emeritus.
During his years at ULM, Dr. Fandal was a driving force in French language education throughout the state of Louisiana. The French government recognized his contributions to the study of French and the Francophone culture by knighting him as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques in 1977 and later as an Officer dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques in 1987. He helped found the Louisiana Foreign Language Association and served on the committee which developed the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana. As the chairman of the CODOFIL Consortium, he was one of the original signers of the accords between Louisiana and France and Belgium. He again chaired the delegation when the accords were renewed in 1986. He was instrumental in establishing the program for recruiting elementary and middle school teachers in Quebec, Belgium, and France to teach in Louisiana.
Dr. Fandal helped to develop the Second Language Specialist program; planned and organized summer workshops in applied linguistics for elementary and secondary school teachers seeking certification to teach French; organized and established summer study opportunities for teachers and students in Belgium, France, and Quebec; and was instrumental in obtaining additional pay for Second Language specialists. He also helped to establish the twinning agreements between the cities of Monroe and Avignon, France and between ULM and the Universite d’Avignon.
Such leadership resulted in invitations from other parts of the French speaking world. As a participant at the Cinquieme Biennale de la Language Francaise in Dakar, Senegal, Dr. Fandal delivered the keynote address. He also addressed the Semaine Culturelle de la Francophonie in Sherbrooke, Canada, and received a French government scholarship to participate in a seminar of the Francophone Antilles Society at Port-de-France, Martinique.
Carlos Fandal was also a life-long advocate for the study of Latin and the classics. He helped found the Louisiana Classical Association, which he served as an officer and as editor of The Classicist. He proposed the project for developing Latin programs for teaching Latin in rural Louisiana and participated in an NEH seminar in Rome in 1989 on “Roman Art in a Social Context.”
A consummate teacher, Dr. Fandal was never happier than when he was working with students. Those who studied with him can attest to his excellence in the classroom. In addition to being a well-respected professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, he was a popular coach for the early men’s intramural soccer team, a respected advisor to the Vietnamese Association, and founder and advisor to Phi Tau Gamma, the foreign language club at ULM. His skills in the classroom were matched by his ability to mentor faculty and fellow administrators. Both his teaching and his leadership styles were characterized by compassion and rigor.