Swoboda, Marian J.; Roberts, Audrey J.; Hirsch, Jennifer / Women on campus in the eighties : old struggles, new victories
Clarenbach, Kathryn F.; Niles, Dolores H.
Chapter 1: Women's studies outreach: evolution at extension, pp. 1-10
1. Women's Studies Outreach: Evolution at Extension by Kathryn F Clarenbach and Dolores H. Niles Introduction From 1962 until the late 1980s, the three women who comprised the core faculty of Women's Education Resources (WER) worked together in developing and delivering a university outreach program on behalf of Wisconsin women. Over those years there were many changes: in the title of the office, the adminis- trative units to which it reported, the program thrust and content, the size of the staff, budgetary expectations and requirements, and in general the levels of receptivity and cooperation both within and beyond the university. Throughout these various changes, Constance F. Threinen, Marian L. Thompson, and Kathryn F. Clarenbach worked closely together, rather as a collective. Consensus followed their group discussions of assessed need and new directions, while spe- cific program leadership or involvement alternated, based on their individual interests, expertise, and skills. As retirees, all three are pleased to be honorary members of the UW System Women's Studies Consortium. The decade of the eighties was significant for the continued contributions of WER, across the state and nation. It was also significant in that several changes had a lasting impact on WER and the future of women's studies outreach in Wis- consin. In many ways, events during the eighties took shape earlier. We will first review the programs and contributions that marked the decade and then discuss the changes and the impact of these changes as we move into the last decade of the 20th Century. Program priorities are always strongly influenced by the social and political climate of the times. To devise and develop agenda at the cutting edge of positive social change, we engaged in continuing investigation of the actual circumstances of women's lives, the problems and barriers women faced, and the various pro- grams being proposed. Research, analysis, interpretation, dissemination of infor- mation, and then the selection of workable vehicles were prerequisites to each of those steps, to avoid duplicating what others were doing, and to live within the constraints of time and budget. 1
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