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The University of Arizona plans to hire four tenure track faculty members to create a transgender studies program.

The new professors will join two faculty members who already specialize in transgender studies at the university.

Susan Stryker, director of the UA’s Institute for LGBT Studies and an associate professor, said she’s pleased with the announcement.

“I see the development of transgender studies as a way of changing the conversation about trans issues in a way that contests the stigmatization and pathologization of trans lives,” she said.

Stryker said the UA will be the first university in the world to develop a transgender studies degree program, and called it an unprecedented investment in the field of study.

She said the university plans on hiring two professors who will start next year, and two more professors who will start in the fall of 2015.