The University of Cincinnati hopes to start a degree program in Arabic this fall.
UC trustees approved the program Tuesday, although it still needs state approval. It would be the only Arabic studies bachelor's degree program in the region.
Demand for Arabic courses at UC has doubled over the last five years.
Miami University offers a minor in Arabic, while Xavier University and Northern Kentucky University offer individual courses. Ohio State University and Indiana University each offer a full range of Arabic degree programs.
The UC degree program would include not just language, but classes studying Arab history and cultures. It would not require any new professors in the first year.
The trustees also approved a change in the spending policy from the biggest pool of its endowment, which totals about $745 million.
UC would reduce the amount spent on operations to 4.5 percent from its current 5 percent over the next two years. That will take away $1.5 million next year and $3.8 million the following year from the operating budget.
UC said the operating spending, plus development fees for projects in the neighborhoods surrounding UC's main campus, have exceeded investment returns.