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Anger Over Shift for Africana Center at Cornell

Anger Over Shift for Africana Center at Cornell
December 3, 2010

Robert L. Harris Jr. has resigned as director of the Africana Studies and Research Center following a move by the university to situate the center as part of the College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty of the center posted a statement of opposition to the change on the program's website, saying that they were "appalled" by the decision, which they said was made without consulting them, and without any evidence that the change would be good for the center. The statement applauded the "principled" decision of Harris to resign his administrative post. Supporters of the center are planning a protest today, saying that the autonomy of the center -- which until now has reported directly to the provost, independent of any other unit at Cornell -- was in danger. Kent Fuchs, the provost, issued a statement in which he said that the new organizational structure would provide more support for the center, link it more closely to relevant academic disciplines, follow a model used by other leading universities and allow for the creation of a doctoral program. "In its new academic home, Africana studies will retain its faculty, staff, and North Campus facility, and receive the critical academic and administrative support that a college is best able to provide, including a plan to increase the number of its faculty, for which I have committed the necessary resources," the statement said.

 

 

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