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Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program and Major Plans

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College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Announcement  •
Internal  •
Foliage on the DU campus

With support from Chancellor Jeremy Haefner and Provost Mary Clark, CAHSS is moving forward with the development of a Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program and major at DU. This is a significant step in advancing our university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Enhancing inclusive excellence across our curriculum and programming is central to our strategic plan, and this approval to develop the CRES program builds on the progress that many departments have made in this area.

This interdisciplinary program will provide students an opportunity to examine race and ethnicity as categories of social, political, historical, and cultural analysis, in the United States and globally. Knowledge and understanding of race and ethnicity provide excellent training for careers in diverse fields such as business, law, education, social work, journalism, the arts, nonprofits, government and public policy agencies, and increasingly in science and technology fields. Advancing and sharing such understanding is also critical for all members of society. 

CAHSS Faculty Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liz Escobedo says, “We are living in a moment when we see in full relief how important the study of race and ethnicity is to the pursuit of social and racial justice. I am thrilled that DU is committed to expanding this program that will meet student needs, interests, and passions, and contribute to the larger public good.”

The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program will build on the success of the existing CRES minor, which CAHSS launched in winter 2019 in response to widespread interest among both faculty and students. Since its inception, it has already attracted nearly 50 minors and involved faculty from 14 CAHSS programs as well as the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, the Morgridge College of Education, and the Sturm College of Law. 

The University has committed to hiring four new tenure-series faculty members, including the faculty director, and staff support for this program. CAHSS will immediately begin the search process for the director, who will work with current faculty to design the program and hire the additional new faculty members that will constitute the core faculty of the program. Like all majors at DU, the major and curriculum will be developed by faculty and will go through the College and University approval processes. 

CAHSS Dean Danny McIntosh notes, “The University support and vision will provide additional opportunities for students from across the University to gain deep expertise in this critical area of knowledge and skills. The new scholars who will be joining our community will augment our expertise and enhance our impact in the community and across the many fields and areas that CRES touches.” 

More information will be available to the DU community as the program and major are developed. 

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