The Center is a unit in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Florida. As a National Resource Center for African Studies, our mission is to promote excellence in teaching and research on Africa in all the disciplines at the University of Florida. The Center also disseminates knowledge about Africa to the wider community through an integrated outreach program to schools, colleges, community groups, and businesses. Central to this mission is sustaining contacts and expanding interactive linkages with individuals and institutions on the African continent. In addition to undergraduate education, the Center promotes and supports graduate studies as essential for the development of a continuing community of Africanist scholars.
The Center has over 100 affiliated teaching and research faculty in a wide variety of fields, including: languages, the humanities, the social sciences, agriculture, business, engineering, education, fine arts, environmental studies and conservation, journalism, and law. A number of faculty members with appointments wholly or partially within the Center have facilitated the development of a core curriculum in African Studies in support of the undergraduate minor and graduate certificate programs.
A full-time Outreach Director oversees an active program that provides ongoing training opportunities for K-12 teachers and educators from postsecondary institutions as well as outreach for business, media, and community groups.
CAS is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center program which supports research, teaching, outreach, and development of international linkages. It is the only National Resource Center for Africa located in the southeastern US, and the only one in a sub-tropical zone.
The Center thus plays a pivotal role in addressing issues critical for understanding Africa in the global context. At a time when the University of Florida is expanding its international dimension, a major component of the Center for African Studies' mission is to work with the rest of the University in promoting Africa-related programs on the campus and beyond.