Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Dec. 15, 1995

Search opens for director of african american studies

by Steve Sullivan

A search for a full-time director of African American Studies has been launched.

A full-time director for the program was among the recommendations made in an external review of the program earlier this year. In the past, faculty members took on the duties of African American Studies director in addition to their regular responsibilities. Derrick Rollins, associate professor of chemistry and statistics, is the current chair of the program.

"We have been given an excellent opportunity to conduct a search for an academic star who can build the African American Studies program," said Elizabeth Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "We are committed to making the African American Studies program better. Hiring a full-time director is the first step toward this goal."The search is being conducted by the psychology department, which will be the home department for the African American Studies Program director. Psychology was chosen because of the growing national reputation of its graduate program and because it already was conducting a search for a diversity faculty position, Hoffman said. Diversity faculty positions are partially funded by the Provost's Office and are for hiring faculty to develop diverse curricula.

"This is an excellent opportunity to attract a top-notch African American scholar -- a social scientist working on research related to African American studies," said Camilla Benbow, professor and chairperson of psychology.

African American Studies is a cross-disciplinary program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The program includes courses in history, English, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, theater and women's studies. The English department also is involved in an African American studies faculty position search.

Openings for African American Studies positions in other academic departments will be filled after a full-time director is hired, Hoffman said.

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