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CFP: Scholarly Symposium & Extension Exhibition on the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 (2014-03-15)

Scholarly Symposium & Extension Exhibition on the Centennial of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914
September 24 – 25, 2014
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV

Century Beyond the Campus: Past, Present, and Future of Extension
A century ago, the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the United States Cooperative Extension System, a partnership of the Department of Agriculture, land-grant colleges, and state and local governments. This historic legislation provided federal support to land-grant colleges in “cooperation with the Department of Agriculture ... in order to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information . . .” The Smith-Lever Act was the culmination of years of fledgling outreach efforts by land-grant colleges to extend the educational, social, and economic benefits of higher education beyond the campus to serve the people. County extension agents and land-grant extension faculty delivered scientific knowledge and new technology, promoted local education, health and wellness programs, provided life-long learning, engaged in community development, and reoriented land-grant colleges as a public good. To mark this anniversary, we look back for insights and inspiration to the legacy of the Smith-Lever Act, and consider the promise of extension in the twenty-first century.
Research Symposium
This centennial symposium provides an opportunity for scholars to consider the legacy, present condition, and future directions of cooperative extension, as well as the engagement mission of public higher education. We invite papers in two areas:
a) HISTORICAL: histories of cooperative extension, higher education outreach, land-grant college / community partnerships; biographical treatments of extension educators, staff, and leaders; histories of rural development programs; and histories of “beyond the campus” programs and services (i.e. 4-H, short-courses, summer programs, nature studies, correspondence courses, agricultural fair exhibitions, etc.).
b) CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS: contemporary scholarship across the disciplines on the missions, policies, and practices of cooperative extension and community engagement; research on administrative and institutional frameworks for higher education engagement and/or higher education for the public good; papers that consider faculty and student roles in extension and/or engagement activities (i.e. service-learning, engaged scholarship, continuing education, problem-based research / learning, 4H, public health services, etc.); critical appraisals of the financing of extension and engagement in a post-recession economy; scholarship on the state and federal politics of extension; papers on extension and/or engagement for community development and/or the place of extension and/or engagement in technology transfer, innovation, and economic development; extension’s role in combating issues of food security, climate change, and rural poverty. The suggestions under these headings are not all-inclusive, and we invite scholarship that connects broadly with extension past or present.
Paper Submissions
Please send one-page paper proposal for the research symposium, including paper title, abstract, name, & institutional affiliation, to Dr. Nathan M. Sorber at

Proposals will be considered until June 10, 2014; however early submission is recommended. Subsequent publication of selected papers in an edited volume is anticipated.

For Additional Information
Dr. Nathan M. Sorber
Assistant Professor
Higher Education Program
West Virginia University
Phone: (304) 293-1781

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