Students Oppose Afro-Am Demotion
Cite Lack of Tenure as Major Problem
A group of Afro-American Studies concentrators met in the Frederick Douglass Room of the Afro-American studies Building last night to plan their response to a possible demotion of the Afro-American Department from a department to a committee.
The demotion would be a reaction to the report of a visiting committee which evaluated the department this winter, Louis E. Bird '80, said yesterday.
They cited the administration's failure to grant tenure to more than two professors in nearly ten years as an example of the University's attitude toward the department.
Concentrators said they agreed with the visiting committee's report which states that the department's major problem is its shortage of tenured faculty. Students said that lowering the status of the department would further exacerbate the situation and decrease the department's legitimacy in the eyes of other Faculty members and student advisers.
The concentrators decided that part of their function will be to coordinate the several groups already supporting the Afro-American Department.
Among the activities other groups are undertaking are:
* A televised segment of Visions and viewpoints, a Public Health School production which will deal with the history of the Afro-American Department at Harvard. The show will be aired in the Science Center next Friday.
* Inclusion of the issue in the commemoration of the '69 strike.
* Mention of the treatment of the department in a pamphlet on racism to be published in April.
* Plans to publicize student sentiment and form a group to meet regularly to monitor the actions of the Administrations. "The Administration likes to pacify the students. Attempts to phase Afro into a committee are likely to activate students in a way I don't think the University wants." Eugene J. Green '80, an Afro-Am concentrator said yesterday.
The group will publicize their demands in a meeting within the next ten days, Bird said.