Strengthening the Academic Enterprise

Updates as of May 26, 2016

Establish university center for scholarship on race, ethnicity, and social identity

On February 16, 2016, President Salovey and Provost Polak announced the creation of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, a major academic enterprise supporting scholarship in the areas of race, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity. Professor Stephen Pitti (a member of the faculty in American Studies and History, and head of Ezra Stiles College) is the center’s inaugural director and chair of its implementation committee.

The center sponsored a number of speakers in spring 2016 and will co-sponsor a conference in Asian American studies in November 2016. Planning is also in progress for a fall conference on education and the African diaspora, lecture series on “race and environmental justice” and “transnational feminisms,” and a possible mini-conference in spring 2017 focused on the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act, which confirmed that Puerto Ricans were U.S. citizens. The center is also working with the Yale University Art Gallery on two exhibitions related to African-Americans in the arts.

The center is overseeing the awarding of undergraduate research prizes in Asian American and Latino studies, and will support summer research in summer 2016 for 23 undergraduate and graduate students who are conducting research in the United States, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the faculty implementation committee, a student advisory board, which includes undergraduates and graduate students, will help to guide the development of the center in its early years.

The center has arranged to host the journal Social Text, an academic publication formerly housed at New York University and Columbia, beginning in summer 2016, providing new opportunities for students and faculty members. Plans are also under way to create a national prize for high school juniors that will recognize leadership and service in areas such as addressing race and racism.

The center expects to announce the hiring of an associate director and an administrative assistant by June 30, 2016. Two postdoctoral fellows have been hired for 2016-2017, each of whom will teach a class in Yale College, and planning us under way for research fellowships sponsored by the center.

Allocate additional faculty positions focused on scholarship on un- and underrepresented communities

On November 19, 2015, the Faculty Resource Committee voted to recommend the allocation of four faculty positions to these areas of scholarship.

Expand related course offerings in Yale College curriculum

On December 7, 2015, Deans Tamar Gendler and Jonathan Holloway wrote to the Yale College community to provide information on spring 2016 courses in cultures of un- and under-represented communities.

Carry out five-year, university-wide faculty excellence and diversity initiative

The faculty diversity initiative announced by the president and provost in early November 2015 was launched to support faculty recruitment, faculty appointments, pipeline development, and other efforts to build on the excellence and diversity of the faculty university-wide.

The newly created Emerging Scholars Initiative Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program and Dean’s Emerging Scholars Initiative Fellowship are both fully enrolled, with six and 15 participants respectively.

Appoint new deputy dean for faculty diversity and development in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

On April 4, 2016, Dean Tamar Gendler announced the appointment of Kathryn Lofton, professor of Religious Studies, American Studies, History, Divinity, and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, as the inaugural FAS deputy dean for diversity and faculty development. Professor Lofton will help guide the FAS in its diversity efforts and will convene, together with Dean Gendler, a new advisory committee on faculty diversity issues and strategies for inclusion.