Troy Duster appointed to lead an expanded American Cultures
program at UC Berkeley
Patricia McBroom, Public Affairs
Duster, professor of sociology at the University of California,
Berkeley, will lead the campus's American Cultures program with
a promise of new money and new goals, UC Berkeley administrators
announced today (Monday, Feb. 28).
program's budget has been doubled, from $155,000 per year to
$320,000, and the compensation paid for faculty to develop new
courses during summer institutes has been tripled, said Duster,
appointed as director of the Center for the Teaching and Study
of American Cultures.
want to give this program a solid footing on the campus and
then make it a national resource for people around the country
who are really starving for new approaches to the study of American
pluralism," said Duster.
members will be paid $6,250, instead of $2,000, for developing
new course material during the summer. In addition, Duster will
launch a Web site to make the American cultures scholarship
are investing new resources to realize an expanded vision in
the American Cultures program," said Carol T. Christ, UC
Berkeley Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost. "I am
thrilled that Troy Duster has agreed to become the leader of
this very important campus program."
a UC Berkeley professor since 1969, has been a campus leader
on racial issues for decades. He founded and directed for 17
years the Center for the Study of Social Change. In 1990, Duster
led the "Diversity Project," a campus-wide study to
assess the intercultural experiences of UC Berkeley students
that was based on interviews with hundreds of groups.
Berkeley adopted an American Cultures breadth requirement for
all undergraduates in 1989, and the first class was taught in
1991. Since then, more than 350 courses have been created that
compare the experience and contributions of three ethnic groups
in many different American environments.
Berkeley's approach differs from that of other universities
with a multicultural requirement. Other models rely on one course
taught many times or choose to expand a Western civilization
requirement to include all the world's cultures.
UC Berkeley, however, the multicultural requirement can be satisfied
with curricula developed in any academic department, so long
as every qualifying course compares three cultures drawn from
five groups: European Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans,
Native Americans and Chicano/Latino Americans.
course on Cubans in Miami, for instance, would not focus just
on Cubans, but might compare the interactions of Cubans, Haitians
and African Americans with the local Anglo population, said
have the only well developed, imaginative program to consider
the impact of different ethnic groups on American society,"
he said. "It's the most important curricular innovation
of the last 30 years."
nearly a decade of curricular development, UC Berkeley's American
Cultures program has a wealth of information that many people
in the country want to access, said Duster, adding, "We
are going to join the 21st century and put this on a serious