Native American Studies program appoints new director, looks to expand offerings
Native American Studies program appoints new director,looks to expand offeringsMay 05, 2005Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
Richard Loder ’67, G’78, part-time professor of sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, has been appointed to a three-year directorate of the Native American Studies program in The College of Arts and Sciences. This appointment marks the first time a faculty member of Native American descent will serve in a leadership position in the college and is also part of a re-envisioning of the Native American Studies program to expand its academic and cultural offerings.
“With dialogue comes understanding, and with understanding comes respect,” says Loder. “By creating an environment where students can question their assumptions and explore the past, present and future of indigenous people, we can open up this crucial dialogue.”
Loder, founder and former chair of the Native American Studies program at State University College at Oswego, has strong and deep ties to local Native American communities. He specializes in contemporary Native American issues and problems. For more than 35 years, he has focused his research on Native American self-determination and backlash; the development and the socio-economic impact of the Oneida Indians’ land claim in Central New York; and Native American studies in higher education.
From 1988-90, Loder served as a formal consultant to the commissioner of the New York State Department of Civil Service, assisting that agency in developing ways to increase the number of Native Americans in the workforce. In 1998, he received the outstanding service award from the Native American Indian Education Association of New York.
He has been a member of the core faculty of SU’s Native American Studies program since 2001 and has taught classes such as Foundations of Federal Indian Policy, Native American Identity and Contemporary Native American Movements. Currently, the Native American Studies program, which includes faculty from Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School, offers students the option of a minor in this discipline, which focuses on the religious, historical, political and aesthetic dimensions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Among Loder’s goals as director of the program are to develop new curricula, symposium and community offerings; actively support and assist the college and the University to recruit Native American students and faculty; and develop links with the Native American nations and urban Indian communities by promoting education, community service and respectful community research collaborations.
“I am delighted that Professor Loder has taken on this important leadership role,” says Cathryn R. Newton, dean of The College of Arts and Sciences. “I am certain that the program will grow and thrive under his creative leadership.”