Wayne State to hire 30 new faculty, launch the Detroit Center for Black Studies

What’s happening: Wayne State University is heading into the new year with a concentrated effort to prioritize faculty and research centered on the Black experience and a recent grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will help them do just that. The $6 million grant will help fund two significant initiatives, a cluster hire program that will recruit 30 new humanities faculty and the launch of the Detroit Center for Black Studies.

What’s planned: Wayne State has announced that the school will recruit and hire 30 new faculty members with research interests in the matters of race, racism, inequality, and the struggles for equality and justice. The 30 new hires will break down into three tiers, which include 10 early career scholars to be enrolled in the Pathway to Faculty program, 10 tenure-track hires, and 10 tenured faculty members at the associate or full professor level.

What’s also planned: Wayne State will also use the grant money to help establish the Detroit Center for Black Studies. The center will be faculty-led and multidisciplinary, connecting scholars from institutions throughout the state who work in the African American, African, and African-diaspora fields of study.

Why it’s important: “We are grateful that the Mellon Foundation recognizes Wayne State’s efforts to transform Black Studies at the university with this impactful support,” says Wayne State Provost Mark Kornbluh. “Wayne State is located in the largest majority-Black city in America, and our curricula should reflect that with more courses that center the Black experience and the role that race has played in American history, culture, and society. This grant propels us to build a more inclusive curriculum, a broader research agenda, and deeper impact on our community by dramatically increasing the number of faculty members whose work centers the Black experience.”

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.