In Memoriam: Bernice Sandler, 1928-2019

Bernice Sandler, often referred to as the “godmother of Title IX,” passed away on January 5. She was 90 years old and had suffered from cancer.

After receiving her doctorate in 1969, Dr. Sandler applied to a teaching position at he University of Maryland. She was denied the position because she came “on too strong for a woman.” She was later rejected for other jobs in higher education. This sparked her investigation into the hiring culture on college campuses that eventually led to the passage of the Title IX law in 1972, which forbids gender discrimination by federally funded educational institutions.

Once the law was passed, Dr. Sandler did not let up her activism for gender equality in education. She conducted research into the hostile environment faced by many women in academia and examined numerous ways in which women professors and students were disrespected in the classroom. As a speaker and author, she drew attention to discrimination, rape culture, and sexist practices on college campuses.

Dr. Sandler was the director of the Project on the Status and Education of Women at the Association of American Colleges for 20 years until her retirement in 1991. She also held positions at various institutions including the Center for Women Policy Studies in Washington. Dr. Sandler was a sought-after witness in discrimination and sexual harassment cases.

Dr. Sandler held a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, a master’s degree in psychology from City College of New York, and a Ph.D. in counseling from the University of Maryland.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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