October 7, 2020

The creation of a Department of Critical Identity Studies is designed to expand the influence of those who are most attentive to issues of diversity and inclusion. It doesn’t mean that classes in Black World Studies or Women’s and Gender Studies go away.

With two new hires specifically devoted to the study of race—one in Critical Identity Studies and one in African American literature—we intend to strengthen our existing offerings and provide new and exciting courses for Ohio Wesleyan students.

We are confident that faculty in departments such as Communications, Economics, English, Politics & Government, Sociology & Anthropology, and other areas will work with this new department to highlight the centrality of questions of diversity and equity to OWU’s mission.

Other institutions that have created similar departments have found that visibility, course enrollments, and majors increased with the new structure. We hope for a similar outcome for these important areas at OWU.

We recognize that a larger conversation is needed, and the faculty’s Academic Planning and Allocation Committee (APAC) will lead conversations about this change. In the coming months, we look forward to the engagement of the full campus in these important discussions, which ultimately are the responsibility of the faculty.

Karlyn Crowley, Provost