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Pacific Sociological Association’s 88th Annual Meetings/Conference

Thursday, April 6 to Sunday, April 9, 2017 in Portland, OR

Institutional Betrayal: Inequity, Discrimination, Bullying, and Retaliation in Academia

President:  Karen Pyke, University of California, Riverside
Vice President: Michelle Camacho, University of San Diego

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From President and Program Chair Karen Pyke

The theme of next year’s meetings, “Institutional Betrayal:  Inequity, Discrimination, Bullying, and Retaliation in Academia” is sparking excitement and interest near and far, including from beyond our region and discipline.  Planning is well underway.

Joining us will be EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, an Obama appointee and co-chair of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. Feldblum played a leading role in drafting the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. She has also worked on advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and has been a leading expert on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act.

Also presenting will be Univ. of Oregon Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd, originator of the concept of “institutional betrayal” which she defines as “wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution, including failure to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by individuals (e.g. sexual assault) committed within the context of the institution.”

One plenary will focus on those who won legal challenges to “institutional betrayal” at their universities, including Dr. Amy Block Joy, UC-Davis professor who wrote the books Whistleblower and Retaliation about her experiences upon reporting embezzlement (see: ) and Dr. Janet Conney, M.D., a former assistant clinical professor at UCLA who was awarded $4.07 million in her suit against U of Calif. for sexual harassment, pay inequity, and retaliation for complaining of discrimination. (see:

A plenary on Institutional Betrayal: Sexual Assault on Campus will include Stanford Law Professor Michele Dauber who is spearheading the recall of Judge Persky who sentenced a convicted rapist and Stanford student to only 6 months in jail, and Political Science Professor Caroline Heldman from Occidental College.

We will also have workshops on how to deal with hostile work environments, bullying, and micro-aggression; the latest research findings on inequity in academia, including NSF ADVANCE funded scholarship; and plenaries from editors and authors of books on inequity in academia including Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (edited by Gutierrez y Muhs, Flores Nieman, Gonzalez, and Harris), the 2015 Choice Award recipient Disrupting the Culture of Silence: Confronting Gender Inequality and Making Change in Higher Education (edited by De Welde and Stepnick), and Gender Shrapnel in the Academic Workplace (Ellen Mayock, 2016).  There will be a session on the 2016 book The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy with authors Maggie Berg & Barbara Seeber.

We will also have a strategy session on making change in higher education.  And there is MUCH MORE to come!

Local activities will include a gentrification tour of Portland, pub crawls, a coffee crawl, and guided meditations. Following the Presidential address and reception on Friday there will be live music (Blues, Reggae, Rock and Folk) with the award-winning northern California band Island of Black and White featuring Chris Haislet on guitar, keyboard, accordion, melodica, flute and vocals, and Nawal Alwareeth on drums and vocals. It is impossible to listen to these exceptionally talented artists without grooving to the music. Check out the band’s website:

Planning is still underway. Have ideas for the conference? Please email them to PSA President and Program Chair Karen Pyke at