Academic Committees

Curriculum Committee, 2020-2021

The director of undergraduate studies (DUS) chairs the curriculum committee. The department chair, in consultation with the DUS, chooses committee members. In the absence of a DUS, the department chair will chair the committee. The curriculum committee is tasked with the oversight of issues, concerns, policies and procedures relating to the concentration and/or certificate in African American Studies. This committee has administrative responsibility for review of faculty course relief requests, and for responding to requests from faculty regarding changes in individual teaching loads. In addition, the curriculum committee reviews requests from faculty to teach new courses, reviews and signs off on hiring visiting faculty and lecturers, assigns courses to incoming fellows, and reviews semester to semester coverage of required courses for the concentration and certificate. Finally, this committee is responsible for allocating funding requests for course support, senior thesis and dissertation funding, and conference travel for undergraduate and graduate students. Committee appointments are for a two-year period.


  • Naomi Murakawa (Chair AY 21)
  • Ruha Benjamin
  • Wallace Best
  • Reena Goldthree
  • Kinohi Nishikawa

Priorities Committee, 2020-2021

The priorities committee is the executive committee for AAS and is chaired by the department chair. It is tasked with reviewing the yearly budgets proposed by the chair, and with crafting the policies, procedures and guidelines governing faculty roles, expectations and responsibilities. Policies, issues and concerns relating to the process governing tenure and promotion originate with this committee, as well as decisions representing significant changes in the organization, direction, or functioning of the department. The priorities committee is also responsible for selecting postdoctoral and distinguished visiting fellows each year, and for proposing names of faculty to deliver the Morrison and Baldwin lectures.


  • Eddie S. Glaude Jr (Chair)
  • Naomi Murakawa
  • Ruha Benjamin

Programming Committee, 2020-2021

The department chair appoints the chair of the programming committee for a two-year term. Following committee guidelines, the programming committee responds to requests and allocates funds for co-sponsorship funding from student groups, faculty, and departments. They allocate a yearly budget and refer to department guidelines for the rules governing funds allocation. They are also responsible for proposing to the chair yearly programming that would support the vision, mission, and growth of AAS.


  • Wendy Belcher
  • Chika Okeke-Agulu ( Chair)
  • Autumn Womack