Black studies programs facing campus challenges

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Students and faculty members form a circle around a campsite occupied by protesters at the University of Missouri.

DETROIT (AP) — Protests by University of Missouri black students that forced the administration to address racism and other problems mirror efforts decades ago that led many majority white schools to create African-American studies and other programs.

But some experts say those programs and ethnic studies departments across the country are struggling with funding, low-staffing and dwindling enrollment.

African and African-American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx once had 10 full-time faculty members, but now has only five full-timers and one substitute assistant professor whose term expires in June.

Chair and professor Mark Christian says he believes most departments in black studies around the nation have similar problems with a lack of investment from administrations.

Michigan State University professor Joe Darden agrees, saying there is no push to increase blacks in faculties.

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