The board of trustees of Pennsylvania State University has approved the reorganization of the Department of African and African American Studies in the university’s College of the Liberal Arts. The reorganized entity will now be named the Department of African American Studies. A separate African Studies Program has been established.
Susan Welch, dean of the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, explained, “The department always has been a somewhat uneasy melding of two different intellectual strands. There are, of course, commonalities between the disciplines but they have different scholarly objectives and traditions. In effect, this small department has been trying to cover two huge areas.”
The new African studies program at Penn State will now offer a doctoral program in conjunction with the department of political science.