The new Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men's Development at Western Illinois University will primarily conduct research.
Director Tracy Davis says it will offer new perspectives on those issues.
For example, he is collaborating on a study of African-American men he hopes will have insights about successful black men in higher education.
He says, “If you read the (professional) literature today the titles are going to say something about African-American men having, you know, lower ACT scores or having more psychological distress.“
He believes the propagation of negative stereotypes such as those African-American men who do not do well in higher education breeds more of the same.
This study will look at African-American men who are successful students. He hopes those insights will lead to ways to help African-American men and other minorities find greater academic success in higher education.
Davis doesn't see the center becoming an academic department. He does see the center cooperating with other organizations on campus to get students to talk about issues of gender. He will also speak in classes on men's and other gender issues.