Friday, December 03, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Africana Under Attack


Provost Kent Fuchs of Cornell University announced on December 1, 2010 his plan to relocate Africana Studies and Research Center within the Arts and Sciences unit and thereby undermine its effectiveness and autonomy in the larger institutional structure.

  • There was no consultation with the faculty prior to this decision.
  • There was no meeting with students prior to the Provost’s announcement.
  • No research evidence was provided to justify this move.
  • Africana resources such as budget and faculty lines are in jeopardy of being absorbed by Arts and Sciences.
  • Africana will now be open as a free for all for those who know little about the field.
  • There has been a revolving cycle of similar attempts from the founding of Africana 41 years ago.The Ph.D., which is offered as a new gift, is already in proposal form and only left to be implemented.
  • There was blatant disrespect of Africana faculty in this process.
  • The decision added additional stresses to students since it was dropped on them in the last week of school.

Africana has been a leader in the field for over 41 years. The Provost’s decision has implications for the larger field of Africana Studies in general. The Africana Center was established as an inter-college unit reporting to the Provost out of a logic that protected it from being subsumed under other administrative structures. The direct line to the Provost was essential for allowing its independence and self-determination. Provost Fuchs’ action will undo all the work that went into creating one of the most respected Africana Studies departments nationally and internationally.

If you also oppose the Provost’s actions we ask you to contact the Chairman of the Board of Trustees immediately and urge reversal.

We, as members of the Cornell community, adamantly reject this decision, and will actively protest today starting at 1pm. Wearing Black clothing and armbands, we will depart from the Africana Studies and Research Center and march to Day Hall, where we will rally until 3pm.

Contact Information:
Alyssa Clutterbuck grad: (P) 607-592-3380;
Tia Hicks ’11: (P) 607-229-8451;

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Negrointellectual by Vernon C. Mitchell, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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