Abstract

Vivian Barfield began her tenure as the first female Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in January 1975, less than three years after passage of Title IX of the Higher Education Act. Dedicated to the advancement of women's athletics, Barfield was charged with upgrading and expanding the women's athletic program and she was expected to contribute to the decision-making process in men's athletics as well. Despite making strides toward bringing UMass into compliance with Title IX, her efforts were ultimately undercut by a running dispute over her job description with Athletic Director Frank McInerney, and her stay in Amherst was correspondingly brief.

Despite the brevity of Vivian Barfield's tenure as the first female Assistant Athletic Director at UMass, her papers offer insight into a key moment in the history of women's collegiate athletics. With materials relating to Title IX, affirmative action, and perhaps most importantly, Barfield's class action suit against the University, the collection reflects the volatile mid-1970s mix of women's sports, second-wave feminism, and gender discrimination at UMass.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Vivian M. Barfield Papers
1972-1977
3 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: FS 98

Background on Vivian M. Barfield

Vivian Barfield

Vivian Barfield

Vivian Barfield began her tenure as the first female Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in January 1975, less than three years after passage of Title IX of the Higher Education Act. Dedicated to the advancement of women's athletics, Barfield was charged with upgrading and expanding the women's athletic program and she was expected to contribute to the decision-making process in men's athletics as well.

Despite making strides toward bringing UMass into compliance with Title IX, Barfield's efforts were ultimately undercut by a running dispute over her job description with Athletic Director Frank McInerney, and her stay in Amherst was correspondingly brief. "Discrimination is not intentional," she wrote in a 1975 memo to the Faculty Senate Rules Committee, "Oft times discrimination results from continuing to do things in the same fashion as they have always been done." After resigning from UMass in 1976, Barfield became the Director of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (established 1975) at the University of Minnesota.

Contents of Collection

Despite the brevity of Vivian Barfield's tenure as the first female Assistant Athletic Director at UMass, her papers offer insight into a key moment in the history of women's collegiate athletics. With materials relating to Title IX, affirmative action, and perhaps most importantly, Barfield's class action suit against the University, the collection reflects the volatile mid-1970s mix of women's sports, second-wave feminism, and gender discrimination at UMass. The collection also includes professional correspondence, financial reports, memoranda, minutes from meetings of the Professional Association of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (P.A.U.M.A.), policy statements by the University, recommendations for reconstructing the UMass Amherst Athletic Council, and a survey of women's athletics at other schools.

Collection inventory
Athletic Council and Title IX
1975

Box 1: 1
Affirmative Action
1973-1976

Box 1: 2
Athletic Programs and Physical Education
1974-1975

Box 1: 3
Commission Against Discrimination Complaint
1974-1977

Box 1: 4-5
Discrimination Charges Against UMass Amherst
1975-1977

Box 1: 6
Financial Reports
1972-1974

Box 1: 7
Financial Reports
1974-1976

Box 2: 1-2
Health Exam Form and Health Insurance Statement
1976

Box 2: 3
Memoranda
1975

Box 2: 4-6
Memoranda
1976 Jan-July

Box 2: 7-9
P.A.U.M.A.
1975-1976

Box 3: 1-2
Policy Statements
1973-1975

Box 3: 3
Survey of women's athletics at other schools
1975-1976

Box 3: 4
Yankee Conference Briefing
1975 July 3

Box 3: 5
Women's Intercollegiate Correspondence
1972-1976

Box 3: 6
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired by the Department of Special Collections and University Archives in April 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by SCUA, 2008.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Vivian M. Barfield Papers (FS 98). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Sex discrimination in sports-Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst-Athletics
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst-Women
  • Women physical education teachers
Names
  • Barfield, Vivian M