WIAD Task orce Meeting-October 5, 1994
Attending: Sandra Russo Marianne Schmink Helga Kraft
Susan Jacobson Sharleen Simpson Richard Bodmer
Susanna Smith Catherine VerEecke Anita Spring
Leslie Lieberman Allan Wood Michael Kenney
Following introductions, Dr. Russo made a couple of remarks concerning the history of
WIAD and then proceeded to describe the current crisis situation in which WIAD finds itself.
In the past, the Graduate School supported the WIAD assistantships, while IFAS provided the
operating expenses. IFAS has now decided to terminate its financial support following the 1994-5
academic year. In a letter from Dr. Davidson to Dr. Russo, the former mentioned that IFAS
feels that it has met its commitment in terms of supplying seed money, and that WIAD must now
seek alternative sources of funding.
Having presented this contextualization, Dr. Russo proposed the central questions for the
assembled WIAD Task Force: 1) Is WIAD a viable enough program to justify its continued
existence? 2) What direction, if any, should WIAD take in order to assure its survival?
The floor was then opened up to questions and comments from the Task Force members.
Dr. Lieberman asked if WIAD secures outside funding support, will it still be administratively
separated from IFAS? Dr. Russo said she wasn't sure what would happen. Dr. Schmink
mentioned that the current situation afforded a good opportunity to look at WIAD as a whole,
not just financially, and determine where it is going.
Dr. Kraft expressed interest in consolidating WIAD along with other gender focused
programs within the new Womens Studies Center. Dr. Schmink noted that while this was an
option bearing consideration, WIAD was originally organized within IFAS because it was felt
that IFAS professors would be reluctant to seek information and support outside of the
From here the debate opened up to more general observations. Dr. Spring stressed that
WIAD has a formidable academic content that needs to be kept in mind when considering
organizational changes. Dr. Jacobson suggested that WIAD look into the possibility of getting
credit for past accrued FTEs. These accrued FTEs could be parlayed into paid support from
IFAS. Dr. Simpson mentioned the possibility of putting together a WIAD rural health program
that could solicit for outside funding support. Dr. Kraft argued that if would look bad for the
IFAS administration to cut an established program designed to support women on campus. Dr.
Russo noted that eight months is very little time to secure the necessary funds to carry WIAD
into another year. Dr. Schmink suggested that, given the relative lack of support among its own
members, maybe WIAD has run its natural course.
The idea was brought up of incorporating WIAD into MERGE (Managing Environmental
Resources with a Gender Emphasis) which is based in the Tropical Conservation and
Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies. Dr. Schmink observed that
while MERGE could certainly provide administrative support, it is important to remember that
MERGE is a temporary project directed primarily towards fieldwork in Brazil, while WIAD is
a campus program.
It was generally agreed among the present Task Force members that WIAD needs more
information in order to assess its viability for the UF community. Along these lines, Dr.
Schmink suggested formulating a questionnaire that could be distributed to WIAD associated
faculty members. The questionnaire is to ask for specific feedback on the importance of WIAD
for these professors and their work. It could also be used to measure what people want from
WIAD. The information gathered could be used as the basis of a report assessing the current
efficacy of WIAD to UF faculty and students.
It was decided that WIAD graduate assistant Kenney will start work on the questionnaire
and that he will be supported by Drs. Schmink, Jacobson, VerEecke, and Spring. This
questionnaire is to be composed, delivered, received, and analyzed by the next meeting of the
THE NEXT MEETING OF THE WIAD TASK FORCE WAS SET FOR WEDNESDAY
DECEMBER 7TH AT 4:00PM IN MCCARTY 2175.