Center for Latin American Studies
University of Florida
March 16, 2007
Carmen Diana Deere
UF UNIVERSITY of
UF CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
Budget Request AY 2007-08
1. Mission. The mission of the UF Center for Latin American Studies is to advance knowledge
about Latin America and the Caribbean and its peoples throughout the Hemisphere, and to
enhance the scope and quality of research, teaching, and outreach in Latin American, Caribbean
and Latino Studies at the University of Florida.
The Center's mission is closely aligned to its status, since 1961, as a U.S. Department of
Education Title VI National Resource Center in Latin American Studies. In addition, as a
campus-wide unit that reports to the Provost, the Center is at the forefront of promoting cross-
college, interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching, research and service. The Center has 17
Center-based faculty, 155 affiliate faculty, and a staff of ten.
2. Goals, Expected Outcomes and Improvement Strategies. In Spring 2005 the Center
adopted its first strategic plan for the period 2005-15. The plan delineates eight goals and 41
specific objectives towards building a world-class Latin American Studies center.
2.1 Teaching. The Center's goal is to build excellence in undergraduate and graduate education
through interdisciplinary training in Latin American Studies (LAS). We strive to build
excellence by enhancing the quality of our academic programs and increasing the number of
students that we train.
2.1.1. Master of Arts in Latin American Studies (MALAS). The Center's goal is to consolidate
the MALAS degree program into one of the premier, LAS masters programs. We intend to
maintain the size of each incoming class at 12-15 students, while improving the quality of the
program to attract the best students. The outcome of our efforts should result in enhanced career
placement, both in doctoral programs and/or international careers.
a) Assessment. The yield (percentage of those admitted that actually enroll) for the MALAS
program has averaged 58% for the past two AY years. We aim to increase the yield to 67%.
The average GRE score of those admitted to the 2007 incoming class is 1150 (1200 excluding
international students), a 100 point increase over the last two years. We aim to increase the
average score to 1200 overall. Of the 15 MALAS graduates since December 2004, five have
gone on to Ph.D. programs (four at UF), five are pursuing LAS-related careers in the private or
public sectors, and three are practicing law. Only one is in an unrelated career (the career status
of one alum is unknown).
b) Improvements made. The Center's Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) carried out a
comprehensive review of the MALAS program during AY 05-06, which included conducting an
exit survey of graduating students. The main changes instituted as a result of the review were
revamping the two required foundational courses; aligning the specializations offered more
closely with faculty expertise and student demand; and improving career advising. Three new
degree specializations were created: Latino Studies, Development Studies, and Gender Studies.
A joint hire with the Food and Resource Economics department (Pilar Useche) who came on
board in January 2007 supports the specializations in Development, Tropical Conservation and
Development, and Latin American Business Environment. Publicity efforts have also been
greatly improved and a new brochure on the MALAS program has been distributed nationally.
c) Further improvements. A constraint in our ability to compete effectively with our Title VI
peers is the relatively low number of graduate assistantships which we are able to offer (6-7 per
incoming class), and the low level of the stipends. In Fall 2006 we began using Title VI funding
(matched by the VP for Research) to increase the total number of graduate assistantships by
three. We have raised the assistantship stipends from $10,000 in AY 04-05 to $12,500 in AY 07-
08. We plan to seek external funding for fellowships and we seek additional OPS funds to
maintain the stipends for existing state-funded assistantships at the $12,500 level. For AY 07-
08, we plan a systematic recruiting drive in the Southeast to boost the size and improve the
quality of our applicant pool. We also plan to implement an internship program.
2.1.2. LAS Graduate Certificate. The Center's goal is to significantly increase the number of
graduate students enrolled in the LAS Graduate Certificate program, providing them with the
opportunity to pursue inter- and multidisciplinary studies and foreign language competence.
a) Assessment. The number of students enrolled in the graduate certificate has increased from
14 in AY 04-05 to 25 in AY 06-07. Currently, students from 11 departments participate. Our
aim is to have 35 students enrolled by AY 08-09.
b) Improvements made. The FAC carried out a review of the requirements for the Graduate
Certificate during AY 05-06. The changes made included an increase in the required level of
foreign language competence, but a decrease in the total number of required courses. We have
greatly improved our publicity efforts, as well as the quality of our advising through the hire in
Fall 2006 of a new Graduate Coordinator (Richmond Brown). Our various fellowship and
research grant competitions now give priority to those enrolled in the certificate program, an
important incentive for graduate students to pursue training outside their own departments.
2.1.3. LAS Undergraduate Minor and Certificate. The Center's goal is to significantly increase
the number of undergraduate students enrolled in the LAS Undergraduate Minor and Certificate
programs, providing them with the opportunity to pursue inter- and multidisciplinary studies and
foreign language competence.
a) Assessment. The number of students enrolled in the minor and/or certificate has remained
steady at around 100. Currently, students from 27 different majors participate. Our aim is to
have 125 students enrolled by AY 08-09.
b) Improvements made. The requirements for these programs were reviewed in AY 04-05 in
order to align the number of required credit hours with other such interdisciplinary programs on
campus and nationally. Significant improvements have been made in publicity efforts and in the
quality of advising due to the hiring of a new Undergraduate Coordinator in Fall 2006
(Richmond Brown). We have also increased our undergraduate course offerings. We now teach
the introductory course on Latin American Studies (LAS 2001) at least twice per year (it was not
taught at all in AY 04-05), and we have increased the number of senior seminars (LAS 4935)
taught per year from five to eight.
In December 2006 we surveyed alumni who completed the LAS minor and/or certificate and
graduated between Spring 2005 and December 2006 (n=42). We gained information on
employment, study abroad, foreign language competence, and perceived quality of the academic
program. With a response rate of 31%, we confirmed our need to improve undergraduate
advising, which we had already addressed by replacing the previous Undergraduate Coordinator.
We also learned that approximately half of the respondents are enrolled in graduate programs
and half are in the workforce.
2.1.4. Overall course offerings and enrollments. The Center contributes towards the diversity
and internationalization of UF' s overall academic programs through the large number of courses
offered with content related to Latin America and Latinos in the U.S.
a) Assessment. The total number of courses offered with at least 25% Latin American content
has held steady at approximately 250 for the past two academic years. Undergraduate and
graduate enrollments in these courses averaged 11,724, while those in Spanish, Portuguese and
Haitian Creole language courses averaged 4,088, for an average total of 15,812 in AYs 04-06.
Our plan is to hold enrollments steady, but increase the number of courses offered in Latino
Studies and on Hemispheric themes (which integrate Latin American and Latino Studies) in
order to attract larger number of students into our various academic programs.
b) Improvements made. With support from Title VI, the Center recently awarded six course
development grants for faculty to create new undergraduate courses with 100% Latin American
content. We are concluding a search for a joint position in Latino Studies which should result in
an increase in the number of courses in that specialization, including Hemispheric themes.
2.1.5. Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs). Title VI National Resource Centers must
commit to enhancing the study of LCTLs, specifically in our case, Brazilian Portuguese and
Haitian Creole. The Center's goal is to continuously strive to increase the level of language
training offered and the number of students enrolled, and to improve proficiency assessment.
a) Assessment. UF currently offers Portuguese through the advanced level and Haitian Creole
through the intermediate level. The Center co-sponsors two summer language programs with
FIU, the Haitian Summer Institute in Miami and the Brazilian Language and Culture Program in
Rio de Janeiro. It also sponsors a Business summer program and several reciprocal exchanges in
Brazil. UF has one of the largest Haitian Creole programs in the country, offering ten classes
with enrollments of 124 in AY 05-06. UF offered 22 Portuguese classes with 228 enrollments in
AY 05-06. Considering UF's size and the state's business and cultural ties to Brazil, Portuguese
enrollments are relatively low.
b) Improvements made. UF has an outstanding Haitian Creole lecturer (Benjamin
Hebblethwaite) who recently received an offer for a tenure-track position at another institution.
The Center aided in his retention and promotion to assistant professor (beginning Fall 07) by
agreeing to fund 14 of his salary for the next three years in collaboration with the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). His assignment includes developing Haitian Creole
instructional materials and improving proficiency assessment methods. In AY 06-07, the Center
paid the cost of offering two introductory Haitian Creole classes using Title VI funds and salary
savings so that Hebblethwaite could teach upper division courses.
The Portuguese program has languished in recent years. In Fall 2006 the Center appointed a
Portuguese Task Force, made up of 11 faculty, to evaluate the program and recommend
measures to increase enrollments. The formation of the task force followed on the heels of an
evaluation undertaken by the Center in Spring 2006 of the summer program in Rio de Janeiro.
At the recommendation of the committee, promotional efforts have recently begun to better
market the study of Portuguese and Brazil and our summer programs. This past year, the Center
made great strides in Portuguese proficiency assessment by becoming the second US testing site
for the Brazilian government's official Portuguese proficiency certification exam (CELPE-Bras).
Sixteen students were recently tested. In coming years, we expect to draw students and teachers
from throughout the state and the Southeast for the bi-annual exam.
2.1.6. Study abroad. Study abroad, whether through short-term study tours or longer term
semester or academic year programs, is an important component of language and area studies
training. While UF is ranked sixth in the nation in the total number of students it sends abroad
(1,805 students in AY 04-05), its numbers on a per capital basis are quite low, not even ranking in
the top 20 nationwide. UF's study abroad numbers for Latin America are particularly poor.
a) Assessment. In AY 05-06, 251 UF students studied in Latin America. Of these students,
87% studied on summer programs or short-term study tours, while only 13% (31 students)
studied abroad for a semester or academic year. These numbers are low considering the size of
UF's undergraduate population, its strength in Latin American Studies, and Florida's geographic
and cultural proximity to Latin America. Of particular concern is the fact that UF does not
sponsor any of its own semester-length study abroad programs in Latin America, apart from a
few reciprocal exchanges. Semester-length programs provide the language and cultural
immersion necessary to achieve foreign language fluency.
b) Improvements made. In Fall 2006, the Center convened a Latin American Linkages Task
Force, composed of ten faculty from five colleges, to assess the study abroad issue. The task
force's mission was to prioritize the countries and institutions most suitable for semester-length
study abroad programs for undergraduates. The task force recommended that the Center look
into starting semester-length study abroad programs in Costa Rica and/or Mexico and that it
explore the possibility of affiliating with existing U.S. university study abroad programs in the
Andean region and the Southern Cone. In addition to starting new programs, the task force
recommended that marketing and advising plans should be implemented to ensure that students
incorporate study abroad from the very beginning of their undergraduate careers. Work is
underway to implement the task force's recommendations, but it may take several years to see
significant increases in study abroad in Latin America due to the lead time required to set up new
2.2 Research. The Center's goal is to enhance faculty excellence in research and to foster inter-
and multidisciplinary graduate research and training in Latin American Studies. We pursue this
goal by strengthening our existing Research and Training (R&T) programs and developing new
2.2.1. Research and Training programs. The Center's R&T programs include Tropical
Conservation and Development (TCD), Latin American Business Environment (LABE),
Immigration and Latinos, and Law and Policy in the Americas. A new program on Crime, Law
and Governance is currently in development. The R&T programs constitute specializations
within the MALAS degree and, in the case of TCD, a university-wide interdisciplinary graduate
certificate and concentration. They are also a means of procuring external grants to support
faculty research, graduate student fellowships, summer research grants, and student internships.
a) Assessment. TCD is the main R&T program that can be assessed in terms of student
enrollments and completion rates, since it is the only one with a university-wide academic
program. It currently has 84 students enrolled from 10 campus units (39% from the School of
Natural Resources and the Environment). Ten students graduated with a TCD certificate or
concentration in AY 2005-06. See Section 2.2.3, below, on external funding.
Another means of assessing the impact of the R&T programs is in terms of the number of
graduate students supported through these programs who go on to win prestigious national
dissertation fellowships. Since August 2005, 16 Latinamericanist graduate students (15 of which
are TCD students) have been granted $439,090 in external fellowships from NSF, NASA, EPA
Star, NSEP, AAUW and other foundations and organizations.
b) Improvements made. The Law and Policy in the Americas program now offers an
interdisciplinary seminar in the Levin College of Law, co-taught by the Center's joint hire with
the Center for Governmental Responsibility (Meredith Fensom), and sponsors five externships in
Latin America in addition to a short-term study tour of judicial reforms in Chile. A certificate is
currently being developed for law students specializing in Latin America. The LABE program
held its third Business Conference and Career Workshop which included panels, for the first
time, on employment in the public sector and in NGOs.
2.2.2. Other initiatives: Indigenous Languages and the Center for World Arts. The Center holds
a USDE International Research and Studies grant to develop a website consisting of instructional
modules about Aymara language and culture. This interdisciplinary project was featured at the
Center's 56th Annual Conference this year on "Communications Technologies and the Impacts
on Indigenous Languages and Cultural Identity in the Americas". The website will be launched
by the end of 2007 and a proposal has been submitted to NSF to secure funding for continuation
and expansion of the project.
The Center supports the Center for World Arts, housed in the College of Fine Arts, through a
joint appointment with the School of Music (Welson Tremura) and via considerable Title VI
support for the training and community outreach activities of the Jacar6 ensemble, a Brazilian
1 The other R&T programs exist as specializations within the MALAS program and assist in attracting good students
to the program. The Law and Policy program also assists in attracting students to the joint MALAS/JD program.
2.2.3. External funding. Another means of assessing the impact of the Center's R&T programs,
and their combined research and teaching effort, is in terms of total external funding secured. As
Table 1 shows, 47.5% of the Center's total expenditures of $3.5 million2 in FY 05-06 came from
its State budget; 50% of expenditures came from grants and endowments. Grant income, which
constituted over one-third of expenditures, came from a large array of external sources, including
the MacArthur, Ford, Hewlett, Moore, and Tinker foundations, USDE Title VI, USAID, NSF
Table 1: Center for Latin American Studies Expenditures by Source of Funding, FY 2005-06
Source Amount Percent
Grants $ 1,320,069 37.7
Foundation 436,575 12.5
DOCE 60,398 1.7
Miscellaneous Accounts 19,015 0.5
State 1,664,099 47.5
Total $ 3,500,156 100.0
From March 2006 to February 2007, Center-based faculty secured an additional $1.8 million in
grants from USDE Title VI, USAID, NSF and the Wildlife Conservation Society. One grant is
pending approval. See Appendix 1 for details.
In AY 07-08, the Center plans to seek grant support from the USDE FIPSE US-Brazil Higher
Education Consortium Program for student and faculty exchange with Brazil, the USDE FIPSE
Program for North American Mobility in Higher Education for student and faculty exchange
with Mexico and Canada, and the USDE Fulbright Hays Seminars Abroad Program for K-12
teacher training in Latin America. Together with the School of Forest Resources and
Conservation (SFRC), we also plan to pursue a second phase of funding from the Gordon and
Betty Moore Foundation for support to the TCD program for graduate fellowships, visiting
scholar grants, and capacity-building for graduate training in Amazonian forest conservation.
2.3. Service. The Center's deep and growing partnerships with colleges across campus is
relatively unique. The Center has 155 affiliate faculty in 50 departments and units. The R&T
programs all collaborate with a large number of CLAS and IFAS departments and with the
professional schools. As previously mentioned, the Center also partners with the College of Fine
Arts in supporting the Center for World Arts.
The Center offers a joint MALAS/JD degree with the Levin College of Law and facilitates a
concurrent degree between MALAS and the Warrington College of Business. In addition, we
are exploring joint degrees with the College of Design, Construction and Planning and with the
College of Journalism and Communications.
2.3.1. Graduate student support. The Center awarded a total of $754,096 in graduate student
fellowships, assistantships and summer research grants for AY 06-07, benefiting 79 students in
four colleges and units. In fact, 67% of this funding went to students from CLAS, IFAS and
2 This figure includes only those funds administered by the Center, and thus does not include the salaries of six joint
faculty members whose Center half-lines were transferred to their respective departments.
Law, while only 33% was awarded to MALAS students. In addition, the Center provides a large
number of services to Latinamericanist graduate students across campus, including a proposal
writing workshop, a Field Research Clinic featuring poster presentations of previous summer
research grant recipients, an IRB workshop, and a publishing workshop.
2.3.2. Faculty support. The Center supported faculty research and teaching through travel grants
and course development grants, totaling over $30,000 in AY 06-07. Thirty travel grants to
faculty in five colleges were awarded to attend conferences and develop linkages with Latin
American institutions. Six course development grants were awarded to faculty in two colleges.
2.3.3. Outreach activities. Title VI National Resource Centers are committed to maintaining
strong outreach programs on their world areas for K-12 constituencies, post-secondary
audiences, and the general public. In AY 05-06, the Center sponsored 125 events on Latin
America (seminars, conferences, workshops, lectures, and cultural performances) with 9,442
participants. The Center's Outreach Program maintains a lending library with more than 500
print and electronic resources on Latin America. Most of the items are geared toward the K-12
level and provide an excellent resource for the State's teachers to enrich their lessons plans with
Latin American topics.
2.4. Diversity The Center is committed to diversity among its Center-based faculty, staff and
students and has been successful in maintaining a diverse workforce and student body.
Assessment. Of the 17 Center-based faculty, 53% are female and 35% are Hispanic. For staff,
82% are female and 54% are Black and Hispanic. Currently enrolled in the MALAS program
are 34 students, of which 76% are female and 53% are Hispanic or international students.
Improvements made. For the first time, the Center participated in the Campus Visitation
Program sponsored by the UF Office of Graduate Minority Programs in February, bringing three
students to campus, all of whom have been admitted to the MALAS program for Fall 2007.
2.5. Fund raising. The Center developed a Capital Campaign planning document for 2005-12
which includes among its objectives four Center-based endowed chairs and a number of other
endowed funds for a total of $7 million. In addition, a university-wide planning document for
Latin American Studies was developed in collaboration with eight colleges and two other units
that targets the creation of 31 endowed chairs and 15 other endowed funds campus-wide. A
naming opportunity for the Center is included in UFF publicity materials.
The Center hired its first development officer (DO) in Fall 2005 (Janet Bente Romero) as a
shared position with UFIC.3 During her first 18 months, the DO has principally targeted the
cultivation of Hispanic UF alumni, those completing MAs and PhDs on Latin America, and other
UF alumni whose careers focus on Latin America.
Over the past two years, the Center has made efforts to reach out to alumni and keep them better
informed of the Center's activities. In January 2005, a questionnaire was sent to all MALAS
3 This position is funded one-third each by UFF, the Center and UFIC for three years. After the three years, the
Center and UFIC will each pay one-half.
alumni for whom we had addresses. Over 50 individuals responded, offering suggestions
regarding the MALAS program, internships, the formation of an Alumni Board, and other
matters. The Alumni Board, now composed of 35 members representing all UF Latinamericanist
alumni, was inaugurated in Fall 2005. An initial solicitation letter was sent to this broad group
of alumni, inviting them to the Center's 75th anniversary celebration in February 2006 and to
contribute to a new Latinamericanist Graduate Student Travel Fund or to the Center's
unrestricted fund. The response to the latter initiative has been modest, with only about 40
alumni contributing on the order of $3,000 to the two funds.
Future activities include a Fall 2007 retirement dinner for Professor Terry McCoy, former
Director of the Center, to seek contributions for an endowment in his name. In addition, the
Center's annual conference in 2012, the Center's 80th anniversary, will focus on the contributions
(academic and otherwise) of UF's alumni to the field of Latin American Studies.
The Friends of the Center for Latin American Studies advisory group, composed of retired
faculty members and other Latinamericanists in the Gainesville area, was also organized in 2005.
Many of these retired faculty members were honored at the 75th anniversary celebration. A
member of the Friends group contributed the Center's first new endowment in recent years.
Helen Safa, Professor Emerita, made a gift of $50,000 for the creation of the Safa Graduate
Student Travel fund.
With the assistance of the DO, we are now soliciting alumni and other donors to support specific
activities, such as the 2007 LABE Business Conference and Career Workshop ($4,000 raised)
and the 2008 annual conference to be held in conjunction with the College of Journalism and
Fund raising for the Center poses some challenges. The Center has historically done little
outreach and tracking of its alumni. For example, we are just now beginning to compile the
names of alumni who have completed the LAS undergraduate minor and certificate programs
over the years. Discovering our alumni base is pivotal for fundraising; however, even with this
information, we may find that the giving potential of our former students is low as many are
employed in the public sector. We will thus need to identify and cultivate other stakeholders
(individuals, corporations, and foundations) that recognize the importance of the Center's
mission and goals. The DO is in the process of identifying these stakeholders and efforts are
underway to develop appropriate promotional materials.
3. The University's Strategic Work Plan and the Board of Governors' Strategic Plan. The
Center's activities contribute to four of the strategies for maximum impact of the university's
strategic work plan: Arts and Humanities, Internationalization, Ecology and Environment, and
Professional Preparation. Many of these activities are detailed in previous sections of this report;
see Appendix 2 for a summary.
The Center contributes to the Board of Governors' goals for production of degrees and for
building world-class academic programs and research capacity. UF has the most comprehensive
of the three LAS Masters degree programs in the SUS and houses the state's flagship program in
Latin American Studies. The Center receives national recognition as a USDE National Resource
Center, and at 76 years, is the oldest Latin American Studies center in the United States.
4. The Center's Core Achievements. The Center's top achievements in AY 06-07 were as
4.1. Title VI. The Center was renewed as a USDE Title VI National Resource Center (NRC),
receiving a total of $1.3 million over four years for core funding and for Foreign Language and
Area Studies fellowships. As part of the Florida Consortium of Latin American and Caribbean
Studies (with FIU), we placed second in the funding competition among six consortium, and
fourth among all 18 NRCs for Latin America with respect to the level of funding, receiving a
substantial increase over the previous round.
4.2. Graduate Student Funding. The Center awarded a total of $754,096 in graduate student
fellowships, assistantships and summer research grants for AY 06-07, benefiting 79 students in
four colleges and units. This record level of funding was primarily due to a grant from the
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to TCD and SFRC, and TCD's Ford endowment. Other
sources included Title VI and Tinker Foundation grants, income from the Center's endowments,
and State funding.
4.3. Faculty research and recognition. Center faculty were successful in obtaining significant
research funding in support of the Center's R&T programs, and ten faculty were recognized by
the university for their accomplishments. Affiliate faculty in Political Science and Religion
(Philip Williams and Manuel Vasquez) received a $450,000 grant from the Ford Foundation for
a second phase of their study on Latin American Immigrants in the New South. The first phase
was supported by Center seed funding. This project is an important pillar of the Center's R&T
program on Immigration and Latinos. Center-based faculty member Charles H. Wood received a
seed grant from the VP for Research for a new interdisciplinary R&T program on Crime, Law
and Governance, a collaborative endeavor with faculty in the Criminology Department and the
Levin College of Law.
Two of the Center's Center-based faculty members won the UF International Educator of the
Year awards in Fall 2006: Terry McCoy, in the senior category, and Karen Kainer, a joint
appointment with SFRC, co-winner in the junior category. In addition, seven affiliate faculty
members were recognized as International Educators of the Year by their respective colleges.
Marianne Schmink, Director of TCD, will be recognized at the Faculty Achievement
Recognition Reception for her accomplishments in fund raising and graduate training.
4.4. Governance. The Center made major strides in shared governance this past year with the
consolidation of the Center's elected Faculty Advisory Council (FAC) and the drafting of the
Center's first ever By-laws. In Fall 2006, the Center held its second bi-annual faculty retreat,
allowing faculty to participate in reviewing progress towards the goals of our strategic plan. The
Center's By-laws have just been completed and will be voted on for official adoption later this
4.5. Level of outreach. The Center's Outreach program has been consolidated and taken to new
heights, with a record number of 125 campus, community and K-12 events during AY 05-06,
with an estimated 9,442 participants. Particularly noteworthy was the increase (from 5 to 15) in
training activities aimed at the State's K-12 teachers. The Center's Outreach Coordinator (Mary
Risner) is on the Executive Board of the Florida Foreign Language Association, facilitating state-
wide dissemination of the materials contained in the Center's Outreach library and recruitment
for K-12 workshops.
5. The Center's Main Challenges. The top five impediments to the Center's success and our
strategies for dealing with them are described below.
5.1 The financial crisis in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The financial crisis in CLAS
has affected the Center's hiring plans and, hence, the consolidation of its R&T programs. After
our joint hire with Political Science in Latino Studies resigned in August 2006, CLAS was
unable to commit matching funds for a new search for a joint appointment. The Center had to
fully fund this position to ensure that a search could be held during AY 06-07. Likewise, in
order to allow CLAS to respond to an external offer to the lecturer in Haitian Creole, the Center
committed salary savings for the next three years to fund the salary increase to assistant
professor. Between these two positions, the Center has committed the bulk of our anticipated
salary savings from the retirement of Terry McCoy this coming May.
Perhaps the most concerning repercussion of the CLAS financial crisis will be the college's
inability in the short-run to replace the large number of anticipated retirements of
Latinamericanist faculty. The department most affected by anticipated retirements is
Anthropology, which has traditionally been one of the few nationally-ranked UF social science
departments, and the department with the greatest depth and breadth of Latinamericanist faculty.
This will have repercussions on LAS course offerings and student advising as well as on
5.2. Lack of endowed chairs. UF currently does not have any permanent endowed chairs or
professorships in Latin American Studies, a fact which places us at a disadvantage with respect
to our competitors. This affects the quality of UF graduate programs, particularly in CLAS,
since we do not have sufficient 'star' scholars to attract top-notch Latinamericanist doctoral
students. High on the list of the Center's long-term fund-raising goals is funding endowed
professorships both in the disciplines and in support of our interdisciplinary R&T programs.
5.3. Undergraduate Academic Programs. The Center has historically focused its efforts and
resources on graduate training, at the expense of undergraduate programs. As mentioned
previously, the introductory LAS course was not offered on a regular basis, undergraduate
advising was weak, and semester-length study abroad options are almost non-existent. Also, our
program enrollments are low compared to our competitors. To become a world-class Center, we
must fully develop our undergraduate program. We have made advances in upgrading
undergraduate advising and teaching by hiring a new Undergraduate Coordinator and
committing to offer more courses on a regular basis. Plans are underway to improve student
recruitment and to increase study abroad options.
5.4. Grant Management. During 2006, the Center's fiscal operation was affected by instability
in our support staff. We are currently back up to our desired staffing level, and in the process,
have upgraded the skills of those in these positions. We are now in a much better position to
manage large external grants. We still face constraints in terms of grant management, however,
due to a difficulties working with Contracts and Grants and the Division of Sponsored Research.
We often experience problems with these units in the proper administration of subcontracts, in
receiving timely responses to questions, and in finding ways to meet the needs of international
research grants. On a related issue, we continuously struggle to pay our international visitors in a
timely manner due to tax monitoring and the university's rule that we adhere to the payroll
schedule for payment of honoraria. We are cognizant of the need to follow federal regulations,
but the university currently has no mechanism to pay a short-term international lecturer an
honorarium on the day that he/she delivers a lecture or speech. Paying a long-term visitor is
equally difficult, often taking two or three months. We would be pleased to serve on a
committee to improve these situations.
5.5. The Cuba travel ban. The State legislature's 2006 ban on the use of State and non-State
funding for travel to terrorist states has affected the Center's development in various ways. First,
it has put our plans to develop a program in Cuban Studies on hold, in turn, affecting our hiring
priorities. Second, our inability to offer summer research grants for study in Cuba has
discouraged graduate students from developing theses and dissertation proposals on this country.
Lastly, it has hampered recruitment efforts among prospective graduate students and faculty
interested in studying Cuba. Recently, it played a role in the university's inability to retain an
assistant professor of Religion who is a Cuba expert and had received an outside offer. The
travel ban is largely outside of our control, but the Center Director is a plaintiff in the suit to over
turn the ban.
6. Improvement Strategies (See Section 2.)
7. The Culture of the Center for Latin American Studies
7.1. Mentoring of students. The Center maintains a listserv of all students in the minor,
certificate, and MALAS programs and routinely distributes information about advising,
requirements, events, grants, study abroad, and career opportunities, and posts such on the
Center's website. The Undergraduate Coordinator (R. Brown) corresponds with students by
email and invites them to visit him each semester for advising and updating of their progress
toward completion of program requirements. Last November, the Center hosted a reception
(with Brazilian food and music) for current and prospective undergraduate students in the minor
and certificate programs and will do so again.
The Graduate Coordinator (Brown) and the Facilitation Coordinator (Jon Dain) conduct an
orientation for all new MALAS students prior to the beginning of classes in August and hold a
follow-up session in October. Each new student is assigned an initial academic advisor from
his/her specialization (there are 16 specializations, each with its own coordinator). The Graduate
Coordinator and the specialization coordinators monitor the progress of MALAS students and
are available to advise students on courses, the selection of their thesis chair and committee, and
grant or other educational opportunities. Ideally, the thesis advisor is determined by the
beginning of the second semester in the program and the members of the thesis committee are
identified by the beginning of the second year.
7.2. Intellectual life. The Center prides itself on having created a diverse and interdisciplinary
intellectual atmosphere. Center-based and affiliate faculty come from 50 different units on
campus. As a result, faculty and graduate student research is inherently interdisciplinary and
varied in nature. Our graduate students pursue theses on topics as diverse as conservation of
Honduran herpetofauna and Brazilian ethnomusicology. Over the past two years the Center has
taken great strides to cultivate a sense of community among UF Latinamericanists by reviving
our newsletter, The Latinamericanist; resuming the bi-weekly LAS Colloquium Series which
features the research of LAS faculty; seeking out new affiliates in departments across campus;
creating a listserve of Latinamericanist graduate students in other departments; and seeking
broad participation in Center governance and decision-making.
7.3. Partnerships. (See Section 2.3.)
7.4. Service to the Latin American Studies profession. Center faculty and affiliates are active
participants in the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the largest international
association of Latinamericanists. Carmen Diana Deere, Center Director and a past president of
the association, serves as a member of LASA's Finance Committee and chaired the 2006-07
Nomination Committee. FAC member Florence Babb (Women's Studies) is currently a
candidate for the LASA Executive Council. Twenty-four UF faculty and graduate students
presented papers at the 2006 LASA Congress in San Juan, while eleven served as panel chairs or
8. Budget Request for New Funding in 2007-08. We request funds for a joint appointment
(assistant professor, estimated salary of $55,000 + fringe plus $5,000 start-up package for two
years) with Criminology/CLAS in support of the proposed Crime, Law and Governance R&T
program. As noted earlier, this new R&T program has received seed funding from the VP for
Research. There is considerable interest among MALAS students in this proposed specialization,
which, once developed, should assist our recruiting goals. It is a topic which should have a
broad appeal in terms of both undergraduate and graduate course enrollments. Moreover, we
believe that this is a particularly attractive research area for external funding since it addresses a
contemporary issue of vital importance to Latin American economic and political development.
We also request an increase in OPS funds of $10,000 annually in order to finance the increase in
our four State-funded graduate assistant stipends (from $10,000 to $12,500). We will be using
salary savings and endowment income to bring our non-State-funded assistantships up to this
Appendix 1. Center for Latin American Studies: New External Awards and Submissions
PI Agency Project Amount
Deere/Schmink Wildlife Conservation WCS Amazon Andes Conservation Program 35,200
Society Scholarship (i)
Experiments in Environmental Governance in the MAP
Schmink/Perz USAID regions: Madre de Dios, Peru; Acre, Brazil; Pando, 305,698
Bolivia (i) (Total Award 2,691,898)
Mechanisms Influencing Seedling Recruitment and
Bruna NSF Establishment in a Fragmented Amazonian Landscape 230,888
(ii) (Total Award 428,719)
Title VI National Resource Center and Foreign
Deere/Covert USDE/Title VI Language and Area Studies Fellowships Program (i) 1,252,273
(Total Award 2,503,199)
Lowe NSF An Ontology-Based Linguistic Research Database for 434,050
Lowe NSF 434,050
Jaqaru and Kawaki in Four Languages
Note 1: The above table includes i) funding obtained by Center-based faculty, administered by the Center; and
ii) funding obtained by Center-based faculty, not administered by the Center.
Note 2: Begin and end dates of awards span different periods.
Appendix 2. Center for Latin American Studies: Fit with University's Strategic Work Plan
Strategies for Work Plan Goals Center's Contributions
Arts & Humanities To promote arts and humanities on The Center sponsored 38 events in the arts and
campus and to the community humanities in AY 05-06 for the campus and
general public. It also provided financial support
to the Center for World Arts' Jacare ensemble and
to the Dept. of Romance Languages and
Literatures for Portuguese and Haitian Creole
Internationalization To support USDE Title VI centers The Center has been funded by the USDE Title VI
program since 1961.
Ecology & Environment To foster interdisciplinary efforts The Tropical Conservation and Development
program is housed in the Center; 4.0 staff and
faculty FTE are assigned to the program.
Professional Preparation To strengthen interdisciplinary efforts The Center collaborates with the Business and Law
schools on three interdisciplinary Research and
Training programs: Latin American Business
Environment, Law and Policy in the Americas, and
Crime, Law and Governance in the Americas.
Initiatives are starting with Design, Construction
and Planning and with Journalism and
Communications. A joint MALAS/JD degree is
2007-08 Program Review
College/Unit: Center for Latin American Studies
Justification Description of Project Amount Space
(Page location Availability
of narrative) (yes/no)
__ I ______ I __ ___
Funding Area Salary Plan Months Salary Resources Office/Lab
Justification (If interdisplinary, (Faculty, TEAMS, G Title Appointed FTE (Includes (office/lab Space
(Page location note RAOPS) (9,12) fringe renovation and/or Availability
of narrative) College/Department benefits) equipment) (yes/no)
2007-08 Program Review
College/Unit: Center for Latin American Studies
Justification Description of Request Amount
2, 12 Increase in Graduate Assistant Stipen 10,000
(4 @ $2,500)
Funding Area Salary Plan Months Salary Resources Support Office/Lab
Justification (If interdisciplinary, (Faculty, TEAMS, G Title Appointed FTE (Includes (office/lab (office Space
(Page location note RAOPS) (9,12) fringe renovation and/or support, Availability
of narrative) College/Department benefits) equipment) travel) (yes/no)
5, 12 Center/CLAS Faculty Asst. Prof. of Criminology and 9 0.50 $ 37,632 $ 5,000 yes
(Criminology) Latin American Studies start-up for
each of 2 yrs.