Hazel Carby rescinded her resignation as chair of Yale's African and African-American Studies Program last night, vowing to work with Yale administrators to improve the program's status on campus.
Carby tendered her resignation last week to protest comments made by Yale President Richard Levin at a Feb. 4 ceremony honoring Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates, a Yale graduate, is now DuBois professor of the humanities at Harvard.
At the Feb. 4 ceremony, Levin said Yale was "a little jealous" watching the "extraordinary" success of the Harvard Afro-American studies concentration. Gates, who arrived at Harvard in 1991, has been instrumental in luring top-name scholars in Afro-American studies to Cambridge.
Carby said Levin's remarks indicated his lack of support for Yale's program, which does not have the status or funding of a full-fledged academic department.
She said she resigned to protest.
But last night, following a meeting Levin and other Yale officials, Carby changed her mind.
"After a unanimous show of support from the faculty and graduate students, I have decided to stay on as chair," Carby said in a prepared statement to the Yale Daily News. "And I really look forward to working with the Yale administration, with our faculty and with our graduate students."
Carby, who specializes in African-American literature, said that "overwhelming support" by students, faculty and administrators across the country also contributed to her decision to stay.
Yale first began to offer degrees in African-American studies in 1969. It is technically known as a "program," occupying the administrative tier below the level of "departments" at Yale.
In at least one area, however, Yale's program has been innovative. Though Yale has done so for years, Harvard's Faculty just voted to establish its own Ph.D program in Afro-American studies yesterday.