National Institute on Aging

Three African American Scholars Who Have Stepped Down From Their University Posts

Kofi Agawu, the Hughes-Professor of Music at Princeton University, has been conferred the title of professor emeritus. He first joined the Princeton faculty in 1998. He briefly left the university during the 2006-2007 academic year to teach at Harvard but returned to Princeton the following year. His research spans the disciplines of music scholarship to encompass music theory and analysis, music history, and ethnomusicology. He is the author of several books including Playing With Signs: A Semiotic Interpretation of Classical Music (Princeton University Press, 1991) and The African Imagination in Music (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Dr. Agawu is a graduate of the University of Reading in England. He holds a master’s degree from King’s College London and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Jamie R. Riley, vice president and dean of students at the University of Alabama, resigned from his post after previous statements on his Twitter account were reported in the media. Dean Riley had once posted that “The [American flag emoji] flag represents a systemic history of racism for my people. Police are a part of that system.” Dr. Riley has served as dean of students for seven months. Earlier, he was the executive director and chief operating officer of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Dr. Riley holds a bachelor’s degree in health care administration and planning and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Tennessee State University. He earned a doctorate in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia.

Robert Stepto, the John M. Schiff Professor of English and Professor of African American Studies and of American Studies at Yale University, has retired. Professor Stepto joined the Yale faculty in 1974. He is the author of several books including From Behind the Veil: A Study of Afro-American Narrative (University of Illinois Press, 1970) and A Home Elsewhere: Reading African American Classics in the Age of Obama (Harvard University Press, 2010).

Professor Stepto is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He earned a Ph.D. at Stanford University.


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