Board members ask where’s LSU’s required African American studies course

LSU black studies

Two Black members of LSU’s Board of Supervisors asked why the LSU Faculty Senate introduced a resolution to require an African American studies course for its students and then didn’t vote on it. 

LSU's Collis Temple Jr
Collis Temple Jr

“Some short while ago, I was excited and impressed that Louisiana State University was embracing an African American studies component as a part of its higher ed thinking,” Collis Temple Jr. said during the March 5 meeting. “For that to move forward, we have to embrace this first step of just (having students take) a simple class and folding it into the curriculum.”

LSU’s interim president Tom Galligan and faculty senate president Mandi Lopez said the senate continues to discuss some kind of class related to diversity and inclusion and Galligan said he expects a class will be required soon.

But board member James Williams said he wanted a focused approach on a class meant to address the history of racial discrimination, and he said he doesn’t want the issue tied up in bureaucracy. “I would hope that you all, given that you’ve all expressed your public support for it, that we untangle ourselves from the bureaucracy and we get it done,” he said. “That would be my personal hope.”

Lopez said most of the faculty was in support of adding an African American studies course, but sponsors of the resolution withdrew it before a vote.

Lopez did not say which faculty members offered the resolution or explain why they withdrew it.

“My email box exploded subsequently,” Lopez said. “Faculty were disheartened and disappointed as a whole, and they felt very strongly that this is an important initiative.” 

Lopez said members of a subcommittee of LSU’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion “are now circling back and working with stakeholders, coming up with yet another resolution — and we are very excited to see that.”

Read more at the Louisiana Illuminator

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