Following years of student and faculty activism regarding the status of the Ethnicity, Race & Migration program, the unit has formally obtained five faculty positions, prompting the return of 13 professors who withdrew their labor from the program earlier this term.
In an announcement posted to the ER&M website on May 2, the program’s chair Alicia Schmidt Camacho informed students that she and the other professors who had chosen to “withdraw their labor” from the program on March 29 would recommit their support to the program following the University’s commitment to increased support.
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences Faculty Resource Committee –– which allocates faculty “slots,” a commitment to a department or program allowing it search and hiring power –– voted on Thursday to grant the program the positions following an external review of the American Studies Program related to ER&M. The changes to the program’s hiring powers affirmed that first years and sophomores will now be able to major in the program, an ability which was not guaranteed following the 13 professors’ submitted letters of withdrawal earlier this semester.
According to a May 2 email jointly sent from Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Tamar Gendler and Yale College Dean Marvin Chun to declared and prospective ER&M majors, four of these slots had been formerly allocated to the program in 2015. But Chun and Gendler’s announcement affirmed that the former arrangement had only provided the slots on an “ad hoc basis.” In an interview with the News, Camacho said that the slots will now be permanent rather than temporary and unclear in status, as they had been before these changes. Faculty members appointed to these positions may hold dual appointments across ER&M and another academic unit, or they may be solely appointed in ER&M.
“On behalf of my colleagues, I thank the Yale administration for affirming ER&M’s importance as a program that requires resources and standing on par with other academic units,” Camacho wrote in the statement. “I take great joy in imagining the future of the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Program at Yale and our new capacity to partner with institutions and colleagues beyond this University. I am grateful that our faculty remains committed to teaching and mentoring students interested in what has become one of our university’s most dynamic and fastest growing undergraduate majors.”
The ER&M major was established in 1997.
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