Academic merger brings new opportunities for students, faculty
The new school and program were formed from a faculty-led realignment of personnel and resources in the former Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures; the former Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies; and the Department of General Studies programs in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Approved by the WSU Board of Regents at their regular meeting on May 4, 2018, the changes became effective July 1.
The many advantages of the academic merger include increased course offerings; improved faculty-to-student ratios; greater diversity; streamlined services; and increased efficiencies in student advising, staffing, and resource allocation. It also provides expanded opportunities for new and ongoing collaborations in teaching, research, and outreach across WSU and beyond.
Students in existing programs are able to progress uninterrupted toward timely completion of their degrees while experiencing a range of additional benefits.
Faculty of the new school selected Carmen Lugo-Lugo, a professor of comparative ethnic studies, to serve as director. Faculty affiliated with WGSS selected Pamela Thoma, associate professor, to direct the program which is housed in the English department.
Below is information that appeared on this page in the months preceding the realignment.
Culture, Language, Gender, and Race
The current undergraduate degrees in comparative ethnic studies and women’s studies offered by CCGRS are important parts of WSU’s academic portfolio, and we fully expect them to remain available in the future.
The college and the University are committed to enriching cultural understanding, promoting the value of tolerance, and respecting diversity throughout the world that is touched by WSU education, scholarship, and outreach.
Realignment discussions are in the early stages and are centered on maintaining the quality of the degrees offered by CCGRS and supporting the faculty and students.
The discussion regarding the change was initiated by CCGRS faculty with a request for faculty groups within the department to be redistributed into different academic units.
Faculty groups within CCGRS have proposed realignments with other units, which they believe have the potential to improve educational and scholarship opportunities for both faculty and students, as well as offering improved administrative functionality and efficiency.
An interdisciplinary committee has been brought together to guide the process and assess all proposals.
A proposal on the table would create a new academic unit centered around the study of culture, language, and diversity across place and time.
The college and the committee collected input from WSU students, faculty, staff, and others interested in the important roles CCGRS plays in the University community.
Realignment Planning Committee
Larry Hufford, chair
Ana Maria Rodriguez-Vivaldi
Women’s Studies Subcommittee