Montgomery County Women's History Archive:
40 Women of Historical Significance in Montgomery County
Dr. Bernice R. Sandler is a Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC, where she consults with institutions and others about achieving equity for women and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. She formerly wrote a quarterly newsletter, About Women on Campus. She has given over 2500 presentations, has written more than 100 articles and is well-known for her expertise in women’s educational equity in general as well as in sexual harassment, the chilly classroom climate, and her knowledge of policies, programs and strategies concerning women on campus. She also serves as an expert witness in discrimination and sexual harassment cases.
She previously directed the Project on the Status and Education of Women at the Association of American Colleges where she published more that one hundred reports. She has a long list of firsts such as the first reports on campus sexual harassment, gang rape, campus peer harassment, and the chilly climate for women, including the first report on how men and women are treated differently in the classroom. She was the first person appointed to a Congressional committee staff to work specifically on women’s issues and the first person to testify before a Congressional committee about discrimination against women in education. 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 played a major role in the development and passage of Title IX and other laws prohibiting sex discrimination in education, and has been associated with Title IX longer than any other person. The New York Times has referred to her as the “godmother of Title IX.”
Sandler holds a degree in counseling from the University of Maryland . She 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 has taught counseling, and has worked as a psychologist, a research assistant, a nursery school teacher, a guitar instructor, and like many women, a secretary.
She has served on more than thirty boards, has ten honorary doctorates and numerous other awards. She has been quoted in major media such as the New York Times, Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated, and has appeared on many talk shows including The Today Show, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America. In 1994 she received a Century of Women Special Achievement Award from Turner Broadcasting System. Her books include: The Chilly Classroom Climate: A Guide to Improve the Education of Women with Lisa A. Silverberg and Roberta M. Hall, and Sexual Harassment on Campus: A Guide for Administrators, Faculty and Students with Robert J. Shoop. A new book, Peer Sexual Harassment, K-12, with Harriett Stonehill, will be published shortly by Scarecrow Press.
She also consulted with The Citadel on their “female assimilation plan,” and is currently working on a book involving student-to-student harassment from kindergarten to 12th grade, and served on the Women’s Health Initiative Advisory Board of the Bayer Corporation.