Pending approval by the University’s Board of Regents, the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies will be reorganized as the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

Founded in 1970, CAAS is currently an interdisciplinary program within LSA. In a communication to the regents, University Provost Philip Hanlon and LSA Dean Terrence McDonald recommended the regents approve the reorganization effective Sept. 1, 2011.

“The shift to departmental status will fortify their undergraduate program, develop graduate studies beyond their two graduate certificate programs and facilitate the recruitment, promotion and support for a diverse range of scholars and instructors,” Hanlon and McDonald wrote. “It will also serve to improve internal controls for this growing and maturing unit.”

According to the communication, departmental status is just one in a series of changes made to CAAS over the years. In 1995, CAAS received enhanced program status, which expanded its budget and allowing it to hire faculty and grant tenure.

CAAS’s undergraduate curriculum was restructured in 2000, according to the communication. The new curriculum was designed to study African history and culture in a more global and interdisciplinary way.

“Through this series of curricular reforms and due to a successful record of hiring, mentoring and promotion since the late 1990s, CAAS now has in place a strong group of committed faculty able to provide the necessary leadership to further strengthen the unit,” Hanlon and McDonald wrote.

Regents expected to approve issuance of construction contracts for Alice Lloyd renovations

At their meeting Thursday, the regents are expected to approve the issuing of bids for renovations of Alice Lloyd Residence Hall.

The $56 million project will consist of changes to student rooms and restrooms, new community areas and an array of upgrades to the building’s infrastructure. The renovations will start after this semester and will end by fall 2012.

The schematics of the project were approved unanimously at the University Board of Regents meeting in December. At the meeting, University President Mary Sue Coleman said she supports the renovations.

“I think it has a much cleaner look, actually, a much more coherent look,” Coleman said. “It’ll be very nice.”

Board to consider $3.85 million in renovations

The regents will also ponder renovations to several geological science laboratories in the Clarence Cook Little Science Building and to the atrium of the School of Social Work building.

In a communication to the regents, Timothy Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, wrote that the renovations to C.C. Little will include electrical, mechanical and architectural improvements to about 10,600 square feet of laboratory space on the fourth floor of the building.

The project is estimated to cost about $2 million and is scheduled to be completed this fall.

Additionally, the renovations to the School of Social Work building are slated to cost $1.85 million, according to another communication to the regents from Slottow.

Slottow wrote in the communication that the construction will reallocate 18,400 square feet of the building’s first floor atrium into clinical space.

“(The new space will) allow students to practice and observe clinical approaches, accommodate expanded continuing education programs and provide updated spaces for student interaction,” Slottow wrote.

The atrium was formerly home to the School of Social Work’s collection of books, but the library was moved into the School of Public Health Library and the Hatcher Graduate Library.

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