THE PROCESS FOR ESTABLISHING ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES

Since the 1990s, three formal proposals for Asian American Studies have been written, submitted, and campaigned. The first two were met with support, yet they were ultimately rejected. The third is in progress with the Curricular Planning Committee (CPC) now, and its recommendations will be either approved or rejected by the Committee on Appointments & Promotions (CAP) in Spring 2018.

For an Asian American Studies program to be established, there will need to be at least three (if not more) FTEs, or a total of twelve courses per year, allocated to Asian American Studies. Note that tenured or tenure-track positions can teach a maximum of 4 courses or 1.0 FTEs per year, while visiting assistant professors (VAPs) often teach a maximum of 1-2 courses or 0.25-0.5 FTEs per year.

Williams College currently has two tenured professors in AAS; we also have two tenure-track professors, Professor Vivian Huang in WGSS and Professor Munjulika Tarah in Dance. However, they are junior faculty members that must contribute a majority of their FTEs to their home departments (WGSS / Dance). Therefore, they are likely each only going to be able to contribute one course or 0.25 FTEs per year to Asian American Studies.

So far, the total FTEs devoted to Asian American Studies is no more than 1.0 FTEs on average during each academic year.

 

The bureaucratic stages for establishing AAS are as follows:

Stage One: A proposal for the allocation of more FTEs in Asian American Studies must be submitted to the Curricular Planning Committee (CPC).

Stage Two: A yearlong CPC working group must be formed to study the proposal and provide recommendations for hiring to the Committee on Appointments & Promotions (CAP), which can either approve or deny recommendations.

Stage Three: Once the minimum number of AAS professors are brought to campus (or at the same time as the CPC is working to bring more faculty in), a proposal for the formation of a program (either major or concentration) must be submitted to the Committee on Educational Affairs (CEA).

Stage Four: A yearlong CEA working group must study and provide recommendations for the establishment of a program to the Committee on Appointments & Promotions (CAP), which can either approve or deny recommendations.

Stage Five: Before a program is established, it must be approved by a full faculty vote.

**Please note that a program's establishment can be approved by a full faculty vote regardless of the recommendation of the CEA, CPC, or CAP.

Stage Six: Adequate resources, mentorship, and faculty members must be provided to the AAS program.

We are currently at the beginning of Stage Two; we have reached this stage once before in the past two decades, and we have never progressed beyond Stage Two in the past twenty-seven years. 

This year, we will focus on:

  • Guaranteeing the inclusion of students from the Asian American Studies Movement in the CPC working group's deliberations
  • Continue to coalition-build amongst students, faculty, and alumni as well as the Board of Trustees
  • Raise awareness and host teach-ins about Asian American Studies throughout the year
  • Remain vigilant around the CPC working group's recommendations for Asian American Studies come March 2018
  • Plan events accordingly depending on the results of the CPC working group's recommendations