Princeton University’s Board of Trustees has granted the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) academic departmental status, clearing the way for the university to begin offering a major in African American Studies in the fall.
On Monday, the board voted to approve an undergraduate major just two weeks after the faculty voted for the measure.
“Princeton’s outstanding faculty members in African American Studies address cultural, social and political issues of urgent importance to our students, our nation and the world,” said Princeton’s President Dr. Christopher L. Eisgruber. “By approving the establishment of a new Department of African American Studies, the trustees and the faculty of the University have provided Princeton’s students with new opportunities for learning, and they have deepened our commitment to support scholarship of the highest quality in this vibrant field.”
Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., chair of African American Studies and the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies, will chair the new department.
“I can’t help but think about the faculty, students, staff and administrators, over the years, who worked tirelessly to get us here,” Glaude said in a statement released by the university. “With the recent vote, that work has finally come to fruition. The vibrant field of African American Studies is now an integral part of Princeton University. And I believe the scholars who are currently here, and the community we are building, will have long-lasting effects on this institution. It is an exciting time to be at Princeton and a glorious moment in the history of this great university.”
Princeton is among the last of its competitors to offer an undergraduate major in African American Studies. University officials said that the Center will begin operating as a department on July 1, 2015.