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Our top priority as a College is to facilitate the success of the new Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS), which was established on July 1, 2019. We recognize this as a primary way through which we can live out our core value of equity by recruiting and retaining talented faculty and students of color to the College of Arts & Letters and Michigan State University.

For this strategy of recruitment and retention to be successful over the long term, we must embrace the intellectual substance of African American and African Studies by building curriculum and supporting an organizational structure that conveys, with clarity and urgency, the importance of Black and Africana Studies.

Over the summer, the new Department initiated two searches, one for a new external chairperson and one for a new full-time, tenure stream position in African American and African Studies. The chairperson candidates have finished their on-campus visits in early December, and we expect to be able to make an offer soon. The candidates for the tenure stream position will come to campus early in the spring semester. Space for the new Department has been the top priority space request of the College for the past two years. We are actively working with Barb Kranz and her team to identify space for 12 faculty and the chair, staff, the undergraduate and graduate programs, a seminar room, and other related facilities as discussed with Barb on October 30, 2019.