|There were instances in the late 1960s and first
half of the 1970s when the program faced some difficulties regarding
personnel and curriculum developments. This challenge was successfully
met in the second half of the 1970s when the African Studies and
Research Program again was transformed into a major center for the study
of Africa and its faculty successfully competed with faculty members
from the finest, more recognized, institutions of higher learning around
the country. This claim can be substantiated by a careful examination of
the annual reports of the Dean of the Graduate School and the national
research/training program competitions in which the ASRP faculty
Evidence for this claim can be gleaned also from the various indexes and bibliographies put out by the International Political Science Association in Paris, for example, and the African Studies Association of the United States. The historical successes of Howard's African Studies and Research program can be measured, moreover, in terms of its programs, faculty and students.
The Department of African Studies, historically, was characterized by an extraordinary concentration of highly rated scholars. It remains a great source of pride for the academic community to register the fact that African Studies provided two African Studies Association (ASA) presidents. Drs. Robert J. Cummings and Georges Ntalaja-Nzongola both served as elected presidents of the African Studies Association in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Cummings was the first African American scholar to serve as president of the ASA. Dr. Sulayman Nyang was elected also to serve during this same period as an ASA Board member and Dr. Robert Edgar was a candidate for theprestigious ASA Herskovits Award for one of his publications on South African historical developments.
Apart from leadership in national and international professional organizations, this faculty produced a large body of scholarly works in the form of books, book chapters, monographs, scholarly articles in refereed journals, and general articles in highly received periodicals. Because of this high production rate among faculty members, departmental course development programs profited from their academic visibility and their national and global associations. This was evident in their lists of published readings and the broad range of materials to which Howard students were exposed.