First Black faculty member achieves tenure at Centenary College

Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy
Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy(KSLA)
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 6:11 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Dr. Andia Augustin-Billy is the first Black faculty member to achieve tenure at Centenary College.

Augustin-Billy was recognized by the Shreveport City Council during the meeting held on Tuesday, Oct. 26.

“I was like, ‘oh my gosh, this is like a tangible document; this is something that is going to remain. This is a historical fact,’” she said.

Centenary has been teaching scholars for nearly two centuries. The recent honor brought up many questions for Augustin-Billy.

“Why has it taken so long? Why is it that Black academics, especially Black women, are underrepresented in American classrooms?” she asked. “Why is it that Centenary has taken 196 years, almost two centuries to tenure its first Black faculty member?”

The American Association of University Professors reports less than 3 percent of full-time tenured, or tenured-track faculty, are Black women.

“I think we’re missing out a lot by not having a wide range of teaching voices. It makes education so much richer, so much fuller, so much rounder,” Augustin-Billy said.

The French and Francophone professor is known for her toughness in the classroom.

“Those that want to take that journey with me, I always tell them, ‘I’m not going to leave you behind,’” she said.

The college has planned a convocation for Augustin-Billy on Nov. 4 at 6:00 p.m. at the college’s Hargrove Memorial Amphitheatre.

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