To: More than Diversity Representatives
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Formation of Academic Unit Devoted to Race
Date: October 16, 2020
Since your initial letter on August 4, we have had thoughtful conversations and correspondence regarding your group’s position on several important issues. I write as a follow up to address your specific interest in creating an academic unit devoted to the study of race.
I am supportive of your commitment to ensuring that the study of race thrives at the University, and recognize your clear interest in establishing an academic unit focused on developing new programs of study, fostering research, and administering the existing BA program in Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. To assist you in this work, the Office of the Provost has committed funding to conduct research on existing academic units in the field, learn about best practices and develop a proposal for review through University processes.
As there is a well-established protocol for creating new administrative units, including departments, institutes, and centers, I have shared with you details of the process and have discussed with the relevant deans your commitment to creating an academic unit and encouraged them to work with you as appropriate.  While I cannot create and fund a University department unilaterally or endorse a still-developing proposal, I am committed to ensuring that University processes are clearly-defined, open, and available to review your final proposal. Should this proposal be approved through University processes, I will work with the relevant division to ensure that resources are provided for its support.
The University recognizes the importance of scholarship on race and values the perspective of faculty and students who have called for expanded opportunities to advance work and study in this area. We work hard to cultivate an environment of academic excellence, and appreciate that you are proposing a way for the University to broaden and deepen its scholarly impact.
Academic values
Policy and Administration