Memorandum from Suzanna Smith to WIAD Steering Committee

Material Information

Memorandum from Suzanna Smith to WIAD Steering Committee RE: meeting
Series Title:
Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD) papers
Women and Agricultural Development Program
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Spring, Anita ( lcsh )
Women's studies ( fast )
Women in Agricultural Development Project in Malawi ( fast )
document (computer) ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States -- Florida -- Gainesville


This 4-page memorandum is to the Steering Committee from Suzanna Smith about the meeting on May 21, 1991. Another memorandum is attached from April 29, 1991, to Hugh Popenoe from Suzanna Smith the Interim Director WIAD Program. This memorandum includes the Program Activites, Needed Resources, and International vs. Domestic WIAD description. Page 5 includes a Memo to Dr. Suzanna Smith that explains how the Women's Studies-WIAD program needs more homework on expanding the program.
Dr. Anita Spring has devoted her life to research in topics such as international agricultural development; food security; entrepreneurship and African business; women/gender in international development; environment and resource management since the 1970s. She has conducted research and produced many publications at several prestigious universities including Cornell University, San Francisco State University, and recently the University of Florida. She is currently a professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, and director of the Sub-Saharan Africa Business Environment Report (SABER) Project at the University of Florida.

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University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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Full Text


TELEPHONE: (904) 3912-1965


To: Steering Committee

From: Suzanna Smith

Re: Meeting

Thank you very much for your participation in the meeting of
the WIAD Steering Committee on April 26. The recommendations the group made were submitted in a memo to the WIAD Advisory Committee
on April 29.

The Advisory Committee (AC) met to consider these
recommendations on May 9th. The Advisory Committee sees the need
for the WIAD Program to "reconstitute" itself under faculty direction and broad based, campus wide support. The Advisory Committee concurs that a senior tenured faculty member with an interdisciplinary perspective is needed to take a leadership role
in building this support, probably in a one-two year rotating

The AC would like the Steering committee to recommend someone
who might take on this job next year. The AC believes that someone is needed to fill this role before making decisions about the
structure of a coordinator's job.

The next meeting of the Steering Committee is May 28,
10-12 a.m., Room 1151, McCarty Hall. Please come with suggestions
for a faculty member who would be able to build interest and
support in IFAS and the College of LAS.

The AC would also like the Steering Committee to be building
support for the WIAD program. Please think about others who are working on gender and agriculture who may be interested and talk with them about the program, get their ideas about program
activities for next year, and ways they would personally like to be involved, and ask them to come to the. meeting or bring their comments with you. Also, think about how we can continue to build
interest campus-wide over the summer.

Thank you for your time and interest.

cc: Advisory Committee
Hugh Popenoe


3042 McCarty Hall
University of Florida

April 29, 1991

TO: Hugh Popenoe

FR: Suzanna Smith, Interim Director, WIAD Program

RE: Recommendations regarding WIAD Program

At the last meeting of the WIAD Advisory Committee, the group recommended that a steering committee of "core faculty" be formed to guide the programmatic direction of WIAD.1 The charge of the committee was to provide recommendations regarding: (a) the direction of future program activities and (b) resources needed to support these activities. The newly formed WIAD Steering committee met on April 26 from 3:00-5:00 p. m. to discuss the future of the WIAD program (see attached agenda).

Program Activities

The Steering Committee indicated an interest in a formalized WIAD program that would include a speaker series, newsletter and publication series, conference, graduate assistantships, and training program. Similar activities
were successfully established and implemented through broad-based faculty involvement prior to the placement of WIAD in IFAS approximately three years ago. These activities meet one of the principal functions of a WIAD program: To facilitate and foster faculty and student interest and involvement in settings and activities that provide the opportunity to discuss ideas and research findings related to women and agricultural development.

Needed Resources

The committee emphasized that program successwill fundamentally depend on how the WIAD programs continues to operate in IFAS. Committee members believe
that the WIAD Program has not functioned for the past 2-3 years, and certain aspects of the administration of the program must be changed if WIAD is to serve its established purposes and potential.

The committee stressed that personnel are needed to build campus-wide support for the WIAD Program and to facilitate rather than to administer the program. This is essential to the development of faculty and student interest and support.

The committee recommended the following resources to support the program:

1. A senior faculty member with interest and expertise in gender and agriculture to act as Director. The Director will work with the Advisory Committee to develop the significant goals and components of the program that will be carried out by the Program Coordinator and will give guidance and direction to the full time activities of the Coordinator. The Director will provide the background and leadership skills needed to facilitate campus-wide

program development and cooperation, will bring needed visibility to the program, and will assist with overall long range program development.

The committee is not recommending a new faculty line for the position but
expects that release time and other resources will be required to make the position attractive for a senior faculty member. There may be an opportunity for the Directorship to be rotated periodically among senior faculty in various Departments.

2. A Program Coordinator to implement program activities and to fulfill the mission of t ' he program under thesupervision of the WIAD Director. This needs to be a full time A&P. position whose sole responsibility is the day-to-day management of the WIAD program. The committee emphasized that staff time must be dedicated to WIAD rather than to other international activities. Frequent travel and extensive involvement in other international projects diminish the ability of WIAD staff to develop linkages within IFAS and across campus that are the foundation of a successful program. Some relevant background experience is needed.

3. For both positions, an evaluation process is recommended that will ensure accountability to program constituents. Annual performance evaluations
should be conducted by the Director of IFAS International Programs and by the Advisory Committee, with input from the Steering Committee.

4. Secretarial support, office space, telephone, xerox machine,
computer, and other resources used for program implementation would need to continue to be provided by IFAS International Programs.

5. IFAS International Program is the logical u Program. However, the success of the Director of Internat administrators at addressing these concerns about prog providing the needed resources is critical if WIAD is tt International Programs.

International vs. Domestic WIAD

After some discussion, the committee concluded that the WIAD pru p
encompass both international and domestic perspectives, for several reasons:

1. Current work on women in agricultural development is a broad-based
scholarly enterprise that crosses disciplinary and national boundaries. To focus on domestic or international is to create artificial boundaries within larger, global processes. International and domestic perspectives are needed to fully articulate the position and status of women world-wide and to serve as a basis for comparative research.

2. Realistically, many faculty develop an interest in international studies on the basis of their domestic work, but due to their job assignments,
cannot devote themselves only to international activities. However, these
faculty can make an important contribution to the study of gender and agriculture in general and can offer technical expertise drawn from their domestic work to
international development projects. Similarly, their international experiences are likely to further enhance their contributions to their domestic work.

3. International students may learn about women and agricultural development only in courses organized around theoretical and empirical work conducted by U. S. scholars and focused on domestic populations. These courses
may offer international students, particularly men enrolled in agricultural programs, their only exposure to the concepts and issues related to the study of gender, agriculture, and society. The implications of this body of knowledge for research and extension in developing countries are broad and relevant in many contexts.

4. The human use of the natural resource base, which is a topic of increasing interest in IFAS and on campus, encompasses both domestic and international research and program activities.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations. I will be
informing the Advisory Committee of the outcome of the Steering Committee meeting. I would appreciate your response as soon as possible, so that both Committees can be informed about decisions regarding these recommendations.


1. Steering committee members who attended the meeting were: Elizabeth Bolton (Home Economics), Christina Gladwin (Food and Resource Economics), Margaret Mattinson (student, Agronomy), Pam Pozarny (student, Anthropololgy), Helen Safa (Anthropoloyy, CLAS) Constance Shehan (Sociology), Barbara Taylor (Home Economics), and Linda Wolf (Women's Studies). Uma Lele (Food and Resource Economics) and Marianne Schmink (Anthropolgy, CLAS) could not attend, but I discussed the agenda items with them in advance and presented their pertinent comments to the group. Maxine Margolis (Anthropology) is on sabbatical and did not attend; Sarah Norton (student, Anthropology) is out of the country; Ken Buhr (agronomy) did not attend. Two observers, Susan Almay (Adjunct Associate
Professor, Food and Resource Economics) and Camilla Harshbarger (student, Anthropology) were invited by Dr. Gladwin to attend. Dr. Gladwin also strongly urged that the committee be expanded to include others who were on the original steering committee or are actively doing WIAD-related work, regardless of their faculty st atus.

cc: Advisory Committee
Steering Committee
E. Drummond J. Davidson
J. Woeste




April 29, 1991

MEMO TO Dr. Suzanna Smith
Acting Director, WIAD
3008 McCarty

Dear Suzanna,

As a member of the new (and old) WIAD steering committee, X
would like to suggest that we continue to think about tactics and
ways to (1) open up the WIAD steering committee to more
interested faculty and (2) answer the questions and concerns of
the advisory committee about how to restructure WIAD. As I
discussed with you on last Friday at the meeting and again on Saturday, I am not in agreement with the decisions made about
either the constitution of the new steering committee or the
future location for the program.

I think we should take some more time to find the people on
campus who work and publish on WIAD issues, because they will be
the people who will work hard on the new steering committee.
People at the meeting on Friday kept mentioning the national
reputation of the old WIAD program under the old steering
committee; yet people who were members of the old steering committee were not invited to join the new one: e.g., Drs .
Sandra Russo, Della McMillan, Susan Almy, Anita Spring (coming in
September). They all have long-standing, excellent reputations
in the WID field, although some may be adjunct or visiting
faculty at the present time. They should be invited to join in
our decision-making process. In addition, people who are
interested in WIAD but for lack of faculty lines are now in A & P lines should also be asked, e.g., Lizette Walecka. of the Training Division, and Ivonne Audirac of BEBR. In fact, it would not hurt
to send out a memo to all departments on campus, looking for new
faculty who may be interested in working on WIAD issues. I think
we could spend some time doing this during the summer months.

I also think we went a little fast in deciding where to


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an Equal Employment opportunity - Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational
information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national oriin.

house the new coordinator. Given that the WIAD program housed in International-Programs has been in limbo for the last two years, with no meeting of a steering committee, and little activity in comparison to the previous years when the program was run by a faculty steering committee, I think some of us should go talk to Dean Lockhart, Vice-Pres. Zachariah, Provost Sorenson, and Hugh Popenoe, and ask them what their interest in the WIAD program is, and what their commitment to a WIAD coordinator would be, if housed in their administrative unit. I also think we should follow up on Linda Wolfe's suggestion to explore the possibility to merge the Women's Studies Program with the WIAD program, as now might be an ideal time to do so.

In short, I think we need to do some more homework. Nothing is hurt by exploring the terrain, interviewing administrators, and opening up the WIAD program to more interested faculty. Given the success of the old WIAD steering committee, there is nothing to lose but everything to gain by asking the old members, who worked so hard then, to get active again, Similarly, there is nothing to lose in taking the time to talk to administrators about their interest in housing the program or an expanded Women's Studies-WIAD program. Why not?

I know you were trying to complete your job as acting
director with dispatch, dedication, and integrity; and I think you know I'm not questioning that. But I think we need to go slower and ask more questions, in order to have a university-wide WIAD program that is as diversified and active as it once was.


Christina H. Gladwin,
Associate Professor