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San Diego State University to create new Asian-American Studies Department, hire more professors

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill Monday requiring California State University undergraduates to take an ethnic studies course to graduate.
Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 20:46:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The CSU system is sending schools more funding to be used on Ethnic Studies programs, which San Diego State will use to hire several more professors and create a new Asian-American Studies Department. That means offering more courses on those topics and new majors.

“We are committed to these issues. So the time is right. We’re meeting the moment," said Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan, who is serving on the search committee to seek out the new staff.

Loh-Hagan says that having representation matters on campus and in the curriculum, particularly for marginalized communities of color. “The root cause of ignorance and hate and bias and discrimination is lack of education and lack of visibility," she said.

JoAnn Fields with the API Initiative says courses in Asian-American Studies will provide benefits far beyond just those communities. She suggests that anyone with a major that could touch on API cultures, including business, science, and politics, would stand to gain from having those class options. “One way to better connect with people is to know the culture. So an API Studies class would be a great place to learn.”

In addition to the two professors who will be hired to start the Asian-American Studies Department, professors are also being hired in Africana Studies, American Indian Studies, Asian-American Studies, and Chicana and Chicano Studies.