Bernice Sandler is a Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington DC where she consults with educational institutions and others. She is well known for her expertise in women’s and girls’ equity at all levels of education, and especially in sexual harassment, the chilly climate, Title IX and her extensive knowledge of policies and strategies concerning women and girls. She has served as an expert witness in sex discrimination cases and has given over 3000 presentations.
The New York Times has called her “the godmother of Title IX” because she has been involved with Title IX longer than anyone else and played a major role in its development, passage and implementation. Although often known as the “athletic law,” Title IX applies to almost all areas of education, from kindergarten through graduate school. It is the most important law ever passed for women and girls since women obtained the right to vote in 1920.
Sandler previously directed the Project on the Status and Education of Women at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where she published more than one hundred reports. She has a long list of firsts, such as the first national reports on campus sexual harassment, campus peer harassment, campus gang rape, and the chilly climate for women, including the first report on how women are treated differently in the classroom. Back in the 1970’s she filed the first charges of sex discrimination against more than 250 institutions at a time when there were no laws prohibiting sex discrimination in education.
She was the first person appointed to a Congressional committee staff to work specifically on women’s issues and was the first chair of the now defunct National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs, having been appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter. She was also among the first persons to testify before a Congressional Committee about discrimination against women in education. She has a doctorate in counseling from the University of Maryland and numerous awards, including 15 honorary doctorates. Her most recent honor was her induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October 2013.
She has served on more than 30 boards and has been quoted in major media such as the New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and has appeared on The Today Show, Larry King Live, ESPN and others. In addition to writing more than 100 articles, she co-authored three books, one on the chilly climate for women in classrooms, one on campus sexual harassment and one of sexual harassment in K-12. She is currently co-authoring a book tentatively titled “How to Stop Harassment and Bullying Caused by Jerks and Other Idiots.”