Howard University to Close Its Classics Department

Howard University in Washington, D.C. has announced that it will disband its department of classics. The department has been part of the university since its founding in 1867. It is the only department of classics at a historically Black college or university.

A statement was released which read: “Howard University has decided to close the Department of Classics as part of its prioritization efforts and is currently negotiating with the faculty of Classics and with other units in the College as to how they might best reposition and repurpose our programs and personnel. These discussions have been cordial, and the faculty remains hopeful that the department can be kept intact at some level, with its faculty and programs still in place.”

The department has eight faculty members. It is hoped that they, and the courses they teach, will be dispersed to other academic departments.

Anika Prather, an adjunct professor in the department, told the Washington Post that “the world of the ancient times was a really diverse place. If we lose it, we lose a part of all of us.”

In an accompanying opinion piece in the newspaper, Harvard professor Cornel West and Jeremy Tate, the founder of the Classic Learning Test, wrote that “academia’s continual campaign to disregard or neglect the classics is a sign of spiritual decay, moral decline, and a deep intellectual narrowness running amok in American culture. Those who commit this terrible act treat Western civilization as either irrelevant and not worthy of prioritization or as harmful and worthy only of condemnation.”

Related Articles


Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Two Black Scholars Appointed to Faculty Positions

The new faculty are Esther Jones at Brown University and Dagmawi Woubshet at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision is Established at Bowie State University

"The new program will help to increase the number of counselor educators within the counseling field and the number of competent Black counselor educators," says Dr. Otis Williams, chair of the Bowie State University department of counseling and psychological studies.

Elizabeth City State University Partners With the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Increase Representation of Black Graduate...

"We are excited by this partnership with UT Health Science Center and the opportunities this brings to our students who wish to pursue advanced degrees," said Kuldeep Rawat, dean of the Elizabeth City State University School of Science, Health and Technology.

Kimberly White-Smith Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Teacher Education

“Through her leadership and scholarship, Dr. White-Smith inspires a new generation of teachers to serve students and approach their work with equity, compassion, and respect,” said Gail F. Baker, provost and senior vice president at the University of San Diego. 

Featured Jobs