Two Centuries Later, Louisiana's Centenary College Has Tenured Its First Black Faculty Member

Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy is the first Black faculty member to achieve tenure at Centenary College in Louisiana — two centuries after the school was founded, reports KSLA News.

Dr. Andia Augustin-BillyDr. Andia Augustin-Billy“Why has it taken so long? Why is it that Black academics, especially Black women, are underrepresented in American classrooms?” said Augustin-Billy to KSLA. “Why is it that Centenary has taken 196 years, almost two centuries to tenure its first Black faculty member? ... I think we’re missing out a lot by not having a wide range of teaching voices. It makes education so much richer, so much fuller, so much rounder."

Augustin-Billy, commonly called Dr. A-B by her students, is a professor of French and Francophone studies at the college. She holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in French language and literatures from Washington University in St. Louis as well as a certificate in women, gender, and sexuality studies.

The college will celebrate her and the historic milestone at a convocation on Nov. 4.