News

The New Gen Ed Lottery System, Explained

News

Armed Individuals Sighted in Harvard Square Arraigned

News

Harvard Students Form Coalition Supporting Slave Photo Lawsuit's Demands

News

Police Apprehend Armed Man and Woman in Central Square

News

107 Faculty Called for Review of Tenure Procedures in Letter to Dean Gay

Afro-Am-Azing

TENURE OFFERS:

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

KEEP your fingers crossed.

With a little luck, Harvard may soon have a real Afro-American Studies Department, which it so desperately needs.

The University has offered lifetime positions to three top Afro-Am scholars from other schools. If all three accept, and if new junior faculty are hired to teach Afro-Am--as has been promised--Harvard will finally get something more than a skeleton Black studies department.

The Administration has finally realized that drastic action is needed to rebuild Afro-Am after years of neglect. Any single scholar offered tenure in Harvard's department is likely to decline--no one wants to study or teach at a university devoid of scholars in the same area of inquiry.

Apparently realizing that dramatic action was required, especially after the death of prominent Afro-American Studies historian Nathan I. Huggins, Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence appointed a special executive committee of Harvard professors to expedite junior and senior-level Afro-Am appointments. And the committee has begun to pay dividends.

By attempting to lure three scholars at once, Harvard has made a bold move which could convince outside scholars of its commitment to Afro-Am. Witness the case of one of the three potential senior appointments--Nellie Y. McKay, the University of Wisconsin literary scholar who last fall turned down a Harvard tenure offer.

When McKay heard that Harvard had offered positions to Cornel R. West '74 and Albert J. Raboteau, both of Princeton, she said she might withdraw her rejection--and once again consider joining what now has a chance to become a real department.

Rejuvenating Afro-Am after years of relative stagnation will not be an easy task. But Harvard has finally recognized the magnitude of the problem and has made a long overdue move to start solving it.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags