The Black Studies steering committee is an ad hoc governing body of faculty who teach core or elective courses for the Black Studies major.

Black Studies Steering Committee

The committee meets regularly throughout the year to make decisions about courses, curriculum, staffing, public programming and student engagement. 

The steering committee is a democratic governing board that makes decisions through discussion and consensus. If consensus is not reached through discussion, a voting may take place with the options of abstention and anonymous voting which the director will collect either through paper ballot for in-person meetings or private polling on Zoom or other virtual platform. 


All meetings, whether of the steering committee as a whole or as a subcommittee or search committee, are held virtually or through a hybrid format in order to ensure full participation while upholding accessibility and work-life balance as each member defines it according to their needs. 

Members should attend most meetings, but grace and understanding for our colleagues and their respective circumstances should be practiced. Those unable to attend should be given the opportunity to have input either before or after a meeting. To this end, a shared document system, like the current Black Studies shared Google Drive, should be used for sharing meeting agendas and notes/minutes where faculty that are unable to attend can share input on the items discussed.

Agendas should be elaborated by the director in consultation with all other members and to be shared in advance of meetings through a shared document system. The director should actively solicit input from all other members. All members have equal input regarding the inclusion of items and issues to be discussed, and can do so through the shared document system or via email to the group or privately to the director. Meeting notes/minutes should also be shared via the same shared document system so that new input can be added by both those who attended a given meeting and those who could not attend. 

Teaching Expectations

Black Studies faculty have pedagogical flexibility and intellectual autonomy to create their own courses in accord with their teaching and research interests and specializations in the field. Faculty whose sole or primary appointment is in Black Studies are expected to teach at least one core course per academic year in order to ensure that students, particularly (prospective) majors and minors are able to complete their core requirements. While 400+ courses are part of the core, the priority core courses to be taught by faculty with 0.5-1 FTE are 101, 201, and 301, as 400+ courses exist with the flexibility to be taught in a cross-listed format via our faculty whose sole or primary appointments are not in Black Studies. Whilst one or more faculty members are on leave, another faculty member whose sole or primary appointment is not in Black Studies may be asked to contribute a core course. This ensures that our junior faculty with sole or primary appointments in Black Studies have ample opportunity to develop their own courses towards their teaching portfolios and in synergy with their scholarly and creative interests ahead of tenure review.