The University of Maryland has announced new leadership for its department of African American studies. According to the university, the new leadership will “advance this academic discipline on campus and work to advance problems facing the African American community.”
Oscar Barbarin holds the Wilson H. Elkins Professorship and is the new chair of the department of African American studies, which was established in 1969. Previously, he held the Lila L. and Douglas J. Hertz Endowed Chair in the department of psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Earlier in his career, he taught at the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina. Dr. Barbarin earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at St. Joseph’s Seminary College in Saint Benedict, Louisiana. He holds a master’s degree in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Alexander Williams Jr. was appointed director of the Center for Education, Justice, and Ethics that is being renamed in his honor. He has been teaching at the law school of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Williams served on the bench of the federal district court in Maryland from 1994 to 2014. Earlier, he was elected State’s Attorney in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Judge Williams is a graduate of Howard University and the Howard University School of Law.
In addition to these leadership appointments, the university plans to hire four additional faculty members for the African American studies department.