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AS S O C I A T I O NO FAM E R I C A NCO L L E G E SA N DUN I V E R S I T I E SLiberalEducationVOL. 93, NO. 3 SUMMER 2007From Recovery to Renewal at Tulane University page 6Saving Higher Education in the Age of Money page 14Democracy, Diversity, and Presidential Leadership page 22ALSO INSIDE:On the Practicality of a Liberal Educationpage 28Faculty Accountability and Cultural Inclusiveness page 32A Campus, Not a Sanctuarypage 46 2007ANNUALMEETING
32LIBERALEDUCATIONSUMMER2007JULIAN IS ANAFRICANAMERICANcollege stu-dent. All of his professors, and the over-whelming majority of his classmates, arewhite. In fact, as he approaches the end of hissenior year, Julian has not had a single in-structor who was not white. He and his same-race peers often meet at the black culturecenter on campus todecompress and re-flect on instances of marginality that repeat-edly arise in their predominantly whiteclassroom environments. Their frustration atthe cultural negligence with which their pro-fessors approach teaching and learning isamong the usual topics of conversation. Hav-ing somehow survived almost four years at auniversity that remained unresponsive to hiscultural needs and interests, Julian hasemerged as a mentor and self-appointed peeradviser for younger African American stu-dents who gather at the black culture centerfor support.Julian actively encourages the otherAfrican American students to assume in-creased levels of cultural ownership of theireducational journeys. Specifically, when theycomplain about the absence of Africentricperspectives in the curriculum, their profes-sors’ blatant disregard for multiculturalism inclass discussions, and their disappointmentwith the limited opportunities to learn abouttheir cultural selves and diverse others in theclassroom, Julian discusses his approach to“filling in the gaps” in his own educationalexperience. He supplements assigned coursereadings with culturally relevant books andessays written by black authors and otherscholars of color. Despite having asked severalof his white professors for help, Julian has hadto search for this body of knowledge on hisown. Also, he spent the spring semester of hisjunior year studying in West Africa. Julianpursued this opportunity not because a profes-sor encouraged him to do so, but because herealized on his own that this would likely behis only formal opportunity in college to learnabout the history and origins of his people. Heoften shares photos and details from the tripand encourages other African American stu-dents to seek out similar educational and cul-tural ventures. Aside from advice on making curriculamore culturally relevant for themselves, Julianalso teaches his younger peers how to speak upfor themselves and demand that their voicesbe represented in classroom dialogues. His ap-proach entails the voluntary provision of ablack perspective on course topics, the unso-licited sharing of his own life story as it relates