- Experiential Learning
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To: OSU Faculty and Staff
From: Alix Gitelman, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice Provost and Susan Bernardin, Director, School of Language, Culture, and Society
June 1, 2023
I am writing to let you know that after a 20-year career in higher education, Dr. Nana Osei-Kofi will retire from OSU effective June 16, 2023. A Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Nana is also the longest serving Director of the Difference, Power, and Discrimination (DPD) program, which has grown tremendously and received significant national recognition under her leadership over the past 10 years.
As a scholar, Osei-Kofi is known for her longstanding contributions to Critical University Studies, and as someone who today is at the forefront of the emerging field of AfroSwedish Studies. In recognition of her work in AfroSwedish Studies, Osei-Kofi was an American-Scandinavian Foundation fellow in 2017-18 and has held visiting positions at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Amsterdam. She is currently co-Director of the Afro-Nordic Feminisms Group funded by the Columbia Center for the Study of Social Difference, and has a forthcoming book with Northwestern University Press, which details a research project that was first conceived when Osei-Kofi was a Center for the Humanities Fellow here at OSU.
Osei-Kofi’s extensive knowledge and publication record in Critical University Studies, inclusive of her most recent book (co-edited with Bradley Boovy and Kali Furman), Transformative Approaches to Social Justice Education: Access and Equity in the Undergraduate Classroom (Routledge, 2021), has guided her as a leader of the DPD Program with an unwavering commitment to working to advance structural shifts in higher education in the service of equity and access through curriculum transformation, change leadership, and faculty development. Osei-Kofi’s plentiful contributions to the DPD Program include the establishment of a revised DPD faculty development curriculum that has allowed faculty for the past decade to participate in a Summer Intensive, followed by targeted course development work in the ensuing academic year; the establishment of a strong working relationship with Linn-Benton Community College to enhance student transfer in the DPD category; and the development of a graduate course that mirrors the faculty development Academy, created in an effort to provide appropriate resources for the large number of graduate students assigned to teach DPD courses every year. In recognition of the DPD Program’s contributions to working toward the advancement of structural change at OSU and in US higher education, the Program was awarded the American Council on Education (ACE) State Network Leadership Award in 2017.
We greatly appreciate Nana’s stewardship of the DPD program, and her legacy will be lasting as we move to the new general education curriculum with two courses required in the Discrimination, Power, and Oppression (DPO) category. Alix will follow up in the coming weeks with information about short-term support for DPO, and how our units (Academic Affairs and the School of Language, Culture, and Society) will collaborate to launch a national search for the DPO Director in the fall.
Please join us in congratulating Nana on her retirement and her service to OSU. Although she is retiring, we fully expect to see her around, as she is committed to continuing to do research and to publishing as Professor Emerita of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. In fact, she is currently away from campus doing research, therefore in lieu of a formal celebration, we invite you to leave your thoughts and best wishes here.
Susan Bernardin, Director, School of Language, Culture, and Society
Alix Gitelman, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Senior Vice Provost