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My university uses Java as the main teaching language. A few courses down the line (OS, Security) tend to use C, but it does certainly depend on the instructor. It seems to me that instructors shy away from C when they know students will likely have little experience with it. They don't want to be bothered with teaching students what a pointer is because it will take away from the actual material of the course.

That said, I personally enjoy using C when it seems to be appropriate. I would much rather write a piece of OS code in C and drop it into a linux distro than using Java to do something that would rarely be used in the real world. I've had problems with C that I wouldn't in a language like python, but if the task is better suited for C, I'd rather work through those problems and learn because of it. My personal opinion of students not learning C because it's hard is that they don't belong in a CS program. If you won't take the time to learn the best tool for the job, you won't do the job right, and no one will have benefitted because of it.

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