I. Chair's Statement
The contract letter between KSU and me, that was signed by Dean Rudolph 0. Buttlar and myself in August, 1994 states: "As the administrator in charge of the Department, you will have responsibility for and carry full authority over such matters as the development and supervision of the program budget; recommendations regarding the appointment and retention of all personnel; interpreting the needs of the program to the department, college and univer- sity, and the needs of the department, college and university to the program; recommending and implementing program and course offerings; establishing course assignments and work loads; assisting in the administration of the University's personnel and Affirmative Action policies; and enforcing all University regulations, policies and procedures. You will also be responsible for carrying out such other special assignments as may be given to you from time to time." In addition to these responsibilities and duties, Dean Buttlar indicated, and I was in agreement with him, that there was a need for the Department to become more scholarly, and in general, raise its academic standards. All of this I took to be a mandate, and incorporated it into my set of goals and objectives as Chair of this unit.
My vision for this Department is a natural outcome of its dual mission. I envision a Department with both an undergraduate major and minor, and a graduate degree (MA, MFA, PhD) granting program, as well. As I mentioned in the annual reports, we get enquiries [sic] about a grad- uate program continuously. There are very few in the nation, and since DPAS is one of the strongest undergraduate Departments in this country, in the field of Black Studies (BLST), it is proper, fitting and logical that a graduate program in PAS would take root at this institution.
Moreover, I envision foreign exchange programs for DPAS students and faculty, between this Department and Universities throughout the continent of Africa, parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean and other places where African and Neo-African culture and life exists and/or is being studied. It is time for this Department to extend itself beyond the narrow boundaries that have defined its domain for the last three decades. The world is much smaller now, given the explosion of technology and accessible global transportation. In order for our students and faculty to be fully empowered intellectually, and to become optimally developed as researchers and scholars, the foreign educational experience is both crucial and neces- sary. Furthermore, it is my belief that the faculty in DPAS are experts in their fields, and in some cases, have distinguished themselves in various ways. Consequently, some are at a stage in their professional lives, where they have something of significance to contribute to the students, faculty and communities, with whom the exchange programs will be established.
Additionally, it is my belief that the concept of a holistic, multidisciplined and interdisciplinary philosophy of education should manifest itself, within and outside of the academy, in-all ways that are natural, logical and appropriate. As I indicate in "The DPAS Niche Report" (see Appendix II), most of the faculty in DPAS have been trained in the traditional disciplines. This is strength, because those that are, have a grasp of two important paradigms — the Eurocentric and Afrocentric methodologies. This means that we have the capacity to build natural bridges between Departments on this campus, and thereby expand the educational opportunities and/or options for students on this campus. Moreover, this reveals the potential for bilateral and multilateral cooperation between faculty members. Furthermore, this provides the faculty of this Department with an opportunity to accomplish another important objective of the academic mission of BLST (PAS), viz., to be a leader in the movement to reform, update and further enrich the curricula across the University, including those in the various Departments and the LER. It is the obligation of DPAS, in my view, to make available to the University at large, the knowledge, expertise, experience and resources that we have developed and accumulated over the years. It is a primary responsibility of BLST Departments to preserve and disseminate knowledge and information about the sacred legacy of African people and their descendants. It is an academic duty of all faculty at this institution to bring to the table, whatever knowledge, experience, expertise and resources they have, in order to positively contribute to the progress and evolution of the academy. This benefits us all, and most impor- tantly, the students who represent our ralson d'etre.
Finally, but not less in importance, I envision this Department continuing and expanding its social mission, through direct involvement with local communities. The element of commun- alism, in the Afrocentric world, obligates this Department to assist the broader community in its quest to find solutions to the myriad of problems that it faces. Those who are without such human resources need the expertise and knowledge of faculty members. Moreover, these and other types of outreach efforts assist the University in its attempt to honor its social respon- sibility to the city, state, nation and globe.
II. Administrative Accomplishments
During the period of time that I have been Chair of DPAS, there have been a significant number of changes. When I took over in January, 1995 the operating budget was $17,400; the compu- ter lab had old Zenith computers that were quite obsolete, with no access to the INTERNET. The building itself was not wired to the other computers on campus, nor was there access to the World Wide Web. Only two faculty members had computers in their offices, and only one of those were computer literate. The rest of the faculty were neither computer literate, nor did they have this technology in their offIces. The-computers in the Main Office were also obso- lete, and represented a serious barrier to clerical efficiency. Furthermore, furniture in the gal- lery and throughout the hallways of DPAS's portion of ORH was old and deteriorated. Addition- ally, there was a vacancy at
the Associate Professor level. Moreover, there was one Associate Professor, who had been hired by KSU at that rank, while all others (5) were Assistant Professors and there had not been a promotion in DPAS for over a decade. Furthermore, the Department's theatre was in extreme-disrepair,.undersized, poorly equipped and located in distant Franklin Hall, and there were no concrete plans for renovation or new construction--this was also the case with ORH. The following changes have occurred over the last three years, which represent improvements in the Department, under my leadership:
Over the last three years I have had two articles published in refereed journals and have given several scholarly presentations:
American Studies, Inc. in New Orleans, Feb 1998; and "Pragmatism and the Black American Religious Tradition," in Bad Bold, Germany, at the Highland Institute of American Religious Thought's Third International Conference on American Philosophy and Theology, in July1998.
As Department Chair, I have a one course/semester teaching load. However, because of circumstances, I have had to take on a teaching overload for three of the six semesters that I have been employed at KSU — one extra course during each semester of AY 1996-97, and two extra courses during Spring, 1998 semester, all of which have represented different preparations. My student teaching evaluations are attached (Appendix V).
The position of Chair of Pan African Studies is unlike any other similar position at the Univer- sity. Because of the nature of the job, this person has the obligation to be a leader on cam- pus, and in the larger community, when it is necessary. Consequently, it becomes part of the list of duties of the Chair of this Department to become integrally involved with the work of the University, helping it to change and evolve in a way that: best promotes the interest of the Pan African community on campus — students, faculty and staff; assists this institution in achieving its cultural/racial diversity goals; aids the campus in its quest to establish a real sense of community; helps to reform and develop the curriculum; etc. To that end I have served on the following KSU committees:
There are several major obstacles to progress in this Department. They include the following:
It is my humble opinion, that despite all the distraction, misinformation and disinformation about this Department, and how it has been administered, there is incontrovertible and empir- ical evidence of significant progress that has been made during the last three years. It has been my intent not to be sidetracked from the original mandate that I was given when hired. Beyond this, it has also been part of my modus operandi to maintain fidelity to the true mis- sion of the Black
/s/ George R. Garrison
George R. Garrison, Ph.D.