Retiring American Ethnic Studies UW professors Gail Nomura, Steve Sumida, and Tetsuden Kashima.
Retiring American Ethnic Studies UW professors Gail Nomura, Steve Sumida, and Tetsuden Kashima.

While we honor retiring American Ethnic Studies University of Washington (UW) professors Gail Nomura, Steve Sumida, and Tetsuden Kashima, the advocacy and work that they did to ensure that UW is committed to the Asian American Studies program, many community members are starting to mobilize urging UW to retain the three positions and conduct a quick and efficient search to fill the positions without delay. The Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) organized the writing of a letter that requests for additional faculty positions to support the increasing diversity at UW.

Professor Gail Nomura noted, in a recent International Examiner article, that the American Ethnic Studies department does the major lifting of diversity teaching on the UW campus. She argued that this reason alone, especially when paired with a “Race and Equity Initiative”-driven president, should be enough to fill the needed faculty. Nomura questioned where the money that would otherwise pay the three retiring professors is going.

Nomura is not alone in wanting to know where that money will go. The Commission and community leaders are hoping that the letter will urge President Ana Mari Cauce and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Robert Stacey to strongly consider the community request and support for the Asian American Studies program. Retaining and increasing faculty positions in Asian American Studies will promote understanding and improve the campus climate at the University of Washington and help fulfill the goals of the Race and Equity Initiative.

If you are or your organization is interested in learning more about how to support the Asian American Studies program at UW, you can email the Commission on Asian Pacific Americans Affairs voicing your support at [email protected]. You can also donate online to the UW AES program online at

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