The Department of Pan-African Studies (DPAS) has been a pillar for black students and learning at Kent State University (KSU) since 1968. As Alumni we will not watch KSU disinvest in our beloved DPAS and request President Lefton to develop a strategic plan to uplift DPAS.
As current students and alumni we are concerned about the future health and capabilities of the Department of Pan African Studies (DPAS). Since your tenure we noticed the loss significant number of faculty members in recent years and the lack of investment in DPAS.
Not only did the faculty in the DPAS enrich our minds they built productive human beings. In classrooms, we heard sounds of University Professor Emeritus Halim El-Dabh’s world-renowned music, we recanted the great philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, we organized students to participate in Kent State for Hurricane Relief. Failing to invest in DPAS is an insult to the alumni who value this department.
Modeled after other successful pan-african studies departments from across the country we request Kent State University creates a Strategic Plan for DPAS that includes:
1. Fulfilling DPAS’ vacancies with tenure track faculty, and restore this Department to full complement;
2. Providing five graduate assistantships to assist with the operations of CPAC, IAAA, Dumas Reading Room, the computer lab, and high enrollment classes
3. Supporting DPAS' progression to graduate status to offer a M.A. Degree, and possibly a Ph.D.
4. Promoting peace between the administration (offices of the President, Provost, and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) of this university and DPAS, so that the faculty in this Department might be able to pursue our research, creative endeavors, engagement activities, professional development, instructional innovations
5. Increasing your understanding of, and appreciation for, the unique role that DPAS plays on this campus; its contribution, at the heart and soul, to the identity of KSU; its value as the center piece of diversity within this predominantly Eurocentric Institution of Higher Learning; and an understanding and appreciation of the historical obligation that this institution, and all public educational institutions in this state have to the Black residents of this state—their aspirations, their rights to be fully included in these institutions, to have a voice, and to be properly represented in the curriculum, culturally, and in positions of employment at all levels.