article via jbhe.com
John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., made a major commitment to address racial issues on campus. Last fall students staged a sit-in outside the president’s office demanding the university address its past ties to slavery, increase the number of Black faculty on campus, and begin an ongoing and discussion of racial issues confronting the university.
President DeGioia stated that the university would create a major in African American studies and create an academic department in the field or a larger interdisciplinary program in the discipline. He also said that the university would establish a new research center “focused on racial injustice and the persistent and enduring legacy of racism and segregation in the American experience.” He vowed to recruit an appropriate number of faculty members to support the research center and African American studies initiative and to hire a new senior executive to oversee these programs.
“I hope to encourage all of us to pick up the pace – to commit to a more energized effort to address what has been the besetting conflict – evil – of our American society – racial injustice,” DeGioia said in an address to the university community. “For a place like Georgetown, it is of special importance for us to recognize this history – to recognize its implications for our nation and our responsibilities to one another.”