Established in 1973, the Women's Studies Program has rapidly grown beyond its modest beginnings and has gained a national reputation for its multi-faceted approach to the study of women. Designed to stimulate research and teaching about women within and across disciplinary boundaries, by 1975 the Program had established its own library, a wide range of course offerings, an undergraduate major, and a nationally circulated journal.
The Program's budget provides for a half-time director, a full-time secretary, and graduate student teaching assistants. In addition, faculty with departmental appointments teach Women's Studies courses and serve on the Program's Executive Committee. Joined by undergraduate and graduate students associated with the Program, departmentally-based faculty also volunteer their time to serve on the Program's major committees: the Program Committee, which has always met weekly to deal with all aspects of the Program's governance and functioning; the Curriculum Committee, which considers long and short range curricular issues; and the Hiring Committee, which annually selects the teaching assistants from among the numerous applicants for these positions.
In the years since its inception, two features have consistently characterized the Program: steady growth and periodic assessments and revisions of the course offerings, concentration requirements, and other Program activities. There were 2 different courses and an enrollment of 194 students in Fall 1973-Winter 1974. In Fall 1977-Winter 1978, the Program offered 8 courses with an enrollment of 809 students. Its concentration pattern, which requires a minimum of 24 hours of upper level courses in or related to Women's Studies, culminates in a senior research seminar and for some students in a senior thesis and consideration for honors at graduation. After several years of publication, the journal MICHIGAN PAPERS IN WOMEN'S Page 2STUDIES was discontinued and replaced by an OCCASIONAL PAPERS IN WOMEN'S STUDIES series, which in its first year published ten different articles. Faculty members associated with the Program also comprise the Advisory Board to the recently established University of Michigan Press Women and Culture series.
The Program's commitment to curricular development and to promoting research on women has been recognized and facilitated by a number of grants. The University of Michigan TV Center and Center for Research on Learning and Teaching have given the Program funds to develop multimedia instructional materials for Women's Studies 240, its introductory course. On two different occasions the Michigan Council for the Humanities has granted the Program funds to develop video tapes on the changing roles of women workers. Under Professor Louise Tilly's directorship, the Program received an NEH Curriculum Development grant, which resulted in a seminar featuring leading women's studies scholars from all over the country and the preparation and publication of four substantial curricular packets: "Women and Identity," Women's Art and Culture," "A Cross-Cultural Study of Women," and "New Woman, New World: The American Experience." Over 800 copies of these publications have been purchased by libraries and individuals throughout the United States.
Further recognition has come to the Program through the active participation of graduate students and faculty associated with it in conferences of the National Women's Studies Association and their own disciplines and their publication of articles and books on women's studies topics. In addition, within its short history, the Program has been honored by having two junior faculty who have beeen especially active in it receive the Distinguished Service Award and one of its teaching assistants a Distinguished Teaching Assistant's Award.
Page 3Despite its problems of limited staff, funds, and physical space, the Women's Studies Program has flourished during its brief existence. It has added a new and significant dimension to the LSA curriculum, and its achievements in teaching, curricular development, and research have enhanced the University's general reputation as one of the leading universities in the country.