LSU Board approves creation of African and African American studies department

    BRIEF

    LSU’s Board of Supervisors approved a request Friday day to promote its African and African American program to department status. 

    The promotion will give the African and African American studies program more autonomy, more faculty and more resources, Stephen Finley, the director of the African and African American studies program, said.

    “Everyone knows when something is a department, the university is committed to that field or discipline,” Finley said.

    The promotion to department status will also allow students to work toward a bachelor’s degree in African and African American studies from the department. Before, African and African American studies was just a concentration within a liberal arts degree.

    “If I was a student, that would probably make a difference for me,” Finley said. “As well as having a degree from a full department, rather than just a program.”

    “And the students have been really supportive, so I know it matters to them,” Finley said.

    The next step for creation of the African and African American studies department is approval from the Board of Regents, but “it’s pretty much pro forma,” Finley said.