Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 4, 1997

Minority studies programs report progress

by Linda Charles

The Latina/o studies program needs a Latino history course to round it out, Hector Avalos, director of the program, said during an open forum on diversity in academic programs March 26.

Among those attending the event were Valerie Grim, interim director of the African American studies program; Smokey McKinney, member of the American Indian studies program; Linda Galyon, interim director of women's studies; Provost John Kozak; Elizabeth Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and approximately 80 other participants.

Grim outlined recent developments in the African American studies program and said she is pleased with the way things are moving. McKinney said there is a need for a stronger American Indian presence on campus. Galyon said that the women's studies program has moved forward through the years, and noted that those involved are not afraid to be labeled feminists. All three programs are in various stages of searches for permanent directors. Galyon said an offer has been made for the women's studies position.

In response to one question, Kozak said that while initiatives to add diversity to the curriculum and faculty are important, faculty must take part of the initiative themselves. One department that is doing an excellent job in hiring a diverse faculty is chemical engineering, he said.

Hoffman, responding to a question about why there isn't an Asian studies program, said the initiative must come from the faculty and students. "Bring me a proposal," she said.

Asked how much diversity-related activities are weighed in granting promotion and tenure, Kozak replied that the procedures laid out in the Faculty Handbook must be followed. Hoffman added that in her college, diversity activities are noted and given some extra weight.

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