Major New Research Funding - Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

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Major New Research Funding - Centre for the Study of Co-operatives

Deve l o p m e nt s

New Research Funding

Other Highlights

and Updates

Research Concentration

in Co-op Studies

New Interdisciplinary Seminar

Social Cohesion Project

Two Projects in China

Mongolia Project

Publications

Centre Seminar Series

Conferences

Scholarship News

In Brief

fall/winter

F e a t u r e s

Highlights of the Activities

of Centre Faculty and Staff

Centre for

the Study of

Co-operatives

University

of Saskatchewan

We are thrilled to announce

$1.75 million in new research

funding from the Social Sciences and

Humanities Research Council of

Canada! This is the largest SSHRC

grant in the university’s history, attesting

to the high regard in which

the centre has come to be held by

major funding agencies.

The research team, led by Centre

Director Lou Hammond Ketilson,

will investigate how social economy

enterprises help build more respectful

relationships within communities,

with the environment, and among

stakeholders. Such enterprises include

not-for-profits, co-ops, community

economic development organizations,

and other voluntary-sector groups.

The social economy is part of

our sense of place, our history of

working together for the common

good through co-ops, volunteerism,

and other community initiatives. The

project will advance understanding of

this little-studied area of the Canadian

economy, assist policy makers,

and bolster student awareness of how

social enterprises can be a yardstick

for corporate social responsibility and

for holistic thinking incorporating

the full costs and benefits of alternative

approaches to service provision.

two thousand five/six



Major New Research Funding

Titled “Linking, Learning, Leveraging:

Social Enterprises, Knowledgeable

Economies, and Sustainable

Communities,” the project is part of

a five-year national study. Participating

universities, co-operatives, and

other partners have committed inkind

contributions of $4.7 million, for

a project total of $6.45 million. The

project includes almost $1 million in

student funding, which was topped

up by $100,000 from the university’s

Research Services Office.

“Our proposal was successful because

it is interdisciplinary and based

on innovative university-community

partnerships,” Lou commented. “We

have an exceptional project team as

well as strong links with comm u n i t y

and co-op leaders, managers, and

employees, who will work with our

academic researchers.” The project

will be co-ordinated by the centre

and the Community-University

Institute for Social Research, another

Saskatoon-based research unit.

The research involves 24 academics

from 10 disciplines and 12 universities,

as well as 33 community

partners and other national and international

organizations across British

Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba,

northern Ontario, and the US.


Newsletter of the Centre for



Teaching and Research Activity Update


Research Concentration

in Co-operative Studies

We have been overwhelmed by

the response to this program. Just

over a year old, it continues to

attract graduate students to the

centre, not just from Canada but

from abroad, a remarkable feat for

a unit that does not offer degrees

of its own. Of the nine students

currently in the program, one

came from China, one from Argentina

via Germany, and a third

from Korea. Inquiries about this

program will no doubt increase

once we announce the scholarships

connected with the Social

Economy project. The program

itself has attracted development

funding for a special graduate

module (see below).


New Interdisciplinary

Seminar

We’re very pleased to announce

the approval of a special seminar

in the InterD Research Concentration

in Co-op Studies. Lou,

Michael, and Cris received

a $49,564 CIDA/

Canada Corps University

Partnership Program

Award to support a graduate

module on co-ops

and sustainable development

in Mongolia. The

award included funding

for five students, supervised

by two faculty in

rotation, to complete a

one-month internship in

Mongolia during fall 05.

Lou developed and co-ordinates

the class, which is co-taught by

centre fellows and scholars to prepare

the students for their fieldwork

abroad. The course elicited

an enthusiastic response from

four PhD and five MA students.

We intend this to be the first of

many such special courses offered

through this new program.


Social Cohesion Project

With the new Social Economy

project looming, there is some

urgency to wind up the Social

Cohesion research that has occu-

Centre personnel and colleagues on one of their hiking

breaks during the writing workshop at Waskesiu.

pied the centre for the past few

years. To this end, twenty of us

gathered at Waskesiu in late September

for a writing workshop,

with the goal of pulling together

key ideas and findings of the project

and producing a manuscript

for an integrated, tightly focussed

book tentatively titled Imagination

and Cohesion: Co-operative

Renewal in Canadian Communities.

With draft chapters prepared

in advance, everyone came away

with a clearly defined idea about

necessary revisions; we hope to

have the book ready for a summer

06 publication. We are also plan-

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institution located on the

University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. Contract partners in the co-operative sector include Credit Union

Central of Saskatchewan, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Concentra Financial, and The Co-operators. The centre is

also supported by Saskatchewan Industry and Resources and the University of Saskatchewan, with Saskatchewan

Wheat Pool and the CUMIS Group making additional contributions. The university not only houses our offices but

provides in-kind contributions from a number of departments and units—Agricultural Economics, History, Management

and Marketing, Political Studies, and Sociology, among others—as well as financial assistance with operations

and nonsalary expenditures. We acknowledge with gratitude the ongoing support of all our sponsoring organizations.


the Study of Co-operatives

ning a national policy conference

in early 2006 to present project

findings and recommendations to

federal and provincial civil servants

and other interested parties.

To date the project has fully

supported six graduate students,

provided funding for twenty-four

summer research stipends, generated

numerous conference presentations,

many research reports, an

occasional paper, and nine booklets

based on chapters from C o - o p-

erative Membership and Globalization:

New Directions in Research

and Practice, the book that grew

out of the first SSHRC conference.


China Project #1

The centre is involved in a major

project in China funded by Agriculture

and Agri-Food Canada

titled “Small Farmers Adapting to

Global Markets.” The project will

provide training to support the

development of farmers’ associations

in rural China. Activities to

date include several fact-finding

trips to China; an initial training

session in

Saskatoon in

July 05 with

five extension

agents from

pilot counties

in Sichuan

and Inner

Mongolia; a

ten-day study

tour here in

September in

which we had

thirteen participants; and the

development and delivery of curriculum/training

materials in

November in China. The centre

is administering the project, with

most faculty and several staff involved

in research, training, and

delivery of materials. The project

is expected to continue for

another year.


China Project #2

The centre is engaged in a second

project in Asia titled “Enabling

Co-ops in Rural China.” Partners

include the centre, the Chinese

Participants in the September study tour from China, with Roger Herman, Bill Turner,

Gary Storey, and Murray Fulton in the background.

Students Monica Juarez Adeler, Rob Dobrohoczki, Jason Heit,

Dwayne Pattison, and Zhao Jun, with supervisor Roger Herman

(3rd from right) in Ulaanbaatar Airport prior to leaving for home.

Academy of Social Sciences, and

the Canadian Co-operative Association.

The project is developing

a basic assessment tool to aid coop

stakeholders in identifying

factors that enable co-op development

in rural settings. Additional

deliverables include a paper and

annotated bibliography, both of

which are to be developed jointly

by the centre and the Chinese

Academy of Social Sciences.


The Mongolia Project

Titled “Co-operatives and Sustainable

Regional Development

in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia,” this

project will promote the alleviation

of poverty through co-op

development and institutional coordination

among levels of government.

It also provided the impetus

for a special topics seminar

in the university’s InterD C o n c e n-

tration in Co-op Studies (see details

on p. 2) and the opportunity for

extensive fieldwork in Mongolia.

The trip was a huge, if exhausting,

success; students are currently

engaged in preparing case studies

based on their research.


Forthcoming Publications

In various stages of production are ten

booklets, three occasional papers, and a

new book based on S S H R C research. We

are also committed to a book on co-op

management with Daniel Côté, a copublication

with the BC Institute for

Co-operative Studies and St. Mary’s

University. And discussions are underway

between Roger and Jorge Sousa of

the State University of New York for a

book on co-operative conversions; it is

intended for academics, policy makers,

and co-op practitioners.


The Seminar Series

Our seminar series features the work of

centre faculty, staff, and students, plus

related research by other interested

parties. Recent presentations include

“A Century of Saskatchewan Co-operatives

by Brett Fairbairn; “Globalization,

Indigenous Peoples, and Development”

by Tirso Gonzales of the Indigenous

In Brief

Lou Hammond Ketilson was formally

named director of the centre in April

05. She is the principal investigator in

the centre’s new SSHRC-funded Social

Economy project and is involved in

several other research initiatives with

colleagues across Canada.

Brett Fairbairn is head of the university’s

History Department but c o n-

tinues his role as principal investigator

of the centre’s Social Cohesion project.

He is also co-organizer of a planned

Institute for Aboriginal and Indigenous

Graduate Studies and Research.

Murray Fulton is director of the

Centre for Studies in Agriculture, Law,

and the Environment and chair of the

Interdisciplinary Committee of the College

of Graduate Studies and Research.

He is heavily involved in China Project

#1 (see p. 3).

Research Center of the Americas at the

University of California; and “Co-operation

and Community: Fair Trade and

Co-operative Enterprise” by MA student

Nancy Allan.


Conferences

Centre personnel have recently participated

in a variety of international conferences.

Cris took part in “Concepts of the

Third Sector: The European Debate —

Civil Society, Voluntary Organizations,

and the Social Economy” at the end of

April in Paris. Grad student Monica

Juarez Adeler presented a paper at the

Mondragon Co-op Research Conference

in Spain at the end of June. In August,

Lou, Centre Scholar Isobel Findlay, and

student Rob Dobrohoczki presented at

this year’s ICA Co-operative Research

Conference in Cork, Ireland; and Roger,

Lou, and Monica attended the Association

of Cooperative Educators conference

in Alexandria, Virginia.

The centre also organized two highly

Michael Gertler spent two weeks in

Mongolia during October supervising

the fieldwork of five graduate students.

He was elected president of the Canadian

Association for Studies in Co-operation

at the annual meetings in Saskatoon

in May.

Cris de Clercy returned from maternity

leave in May 05 and was also granted

tenure around the same time. Congratulations,

Cris!

Nora Russell wrote twelve articles for

the newly published Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.

She is also responsible for the

centre’s publications program.

Roger Herman spent three weeks in

November supervising the research of

centre students in Mongolia and providing

curriculum and training materials to

rural farmers in China.

Office manager Patty Scheidl has

been preoccupied with year-end financial

activities and the many research accounts

and travel arrangements of centre

faculty, staff, and students over the past

few months.

successful conferences of its own during

May: the “Building Co-operative Futures

International Youth Conference” and

the Canadian Association for Studies in

Co-operation annual meetings. And

everyone attended “Connections 2005,”

the combined CCA Triennial Congress/

Canadian Conference of Credit Union

Executives annual meetings, also in May.


Scholarship News

Once again, two of the centre’s graduate

students have received significant scholarships

from outside agencies. Mitch

Diamantopoulos was awarded the Dennis

Lyster Leadership Bursary sponsored

by Concentra Financial, one of the centre’s

contract partners. And for the second

year in a row, Nancy Allan won the

F.J.H. Fredeen Memorial Scholarship

donated by the Fredeen family.

We have a number of students still

supported by the centre’s first SSHRC

grant and will be announcing major new

scholarship funding based on the Social

Economy project early in the New Year.

After working part time at the centre

for years, secretary Karen Neufeldt has

joined us full time to assist with all the

extra projects in which we are currently

involved.

In her role as SSHRC project administrator,

Lorraine Salt organized the writing

workshop in Waskesiu at the end of

September attended by researchers from

across the country. She also manages the

library and maintains centre websites.

Six students joined us for summer 05

as research assistants on the Social Cohesion

project: Jason Heit, Juanita Bacsu,

Kim Brown, Rob Dobrohoczki, Monica

Juarez Adeler, and Dwayne Pattison,

w h i l e Zhao Jun worked off-site in China.

Jason, Kim, Monica, and Dwayne are

also SSHRC scholarship winners and remain

with us as students, along with

Rob and Jun. We were joined in fall 05

by Mitch Diamantopoulos, a new student

in the InterD Concentration in Coop

Studies, and Rochelle Smith, the

centre’s first InterD student, who has

returned to complete her dissertation.

CSC Developments is published by the Centre for the Study of Co-operatives.

Writing, editing, and layout by Nora Russell. Send correspondence to:

Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, 101 Diefenbaker Place,

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon SK Canada S7N 5B8

Phone: (306) 966–8509 • Fax: (306) 966–8517

E-mail: coop.studies@usask.ca • Website: http://www.usaskstudies.coop

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