Portland, OR



Western Political Science Association
March 10 - 12, 2022

The Events in Florida Revolving Around Academic Free Speech

We were troubled to learn in October about the University of Florida’s decision to deny three political scientists the right to provide expert testimony in a major voting rights case.

The three political science professors— Daniel Smith, Sharon Austin, and Michael McDonald—were asked to testify in a court case revolving around a new Florida law (SB 90) that places severe restrictions on voting access, including by creating new voting ID rules and limiting access to ballot drop boxes. The University of Florida’s administration barred the professors from testifying on the grounds that the professors’ involvement was “adverse to the university’s interests as a state of Florida institution.”

Political scientists frequently provide expert testimony in court cases, government hearings, and elsewhere. It is one of the ways in which we share our expertise with the broader community. It is part of our academic work and a fundamental part of a free society.

The university’s decision in early November to reverse its policy and allow the professors to testify was the appropriate action to take. Nonetheless, the university’s original action was rightly condemned by many academic and civil rights organizations. It was an egregious attack on academic freedom and free expression. The action has also severely tarnished the university’s reputation.

The National Conference of Black Political Scientists has organized a petition campaign to implore the leadership at the University of Florida to refrain from taking similar action in the future. We are asking our members to consider signing this petition, which can be found here.

Ricardo Ramirez
WPSA President, 2021-2022

Jessica Lavariega Monforti,
WPSA President, 2020-2021

Pei-te Lien,
WPSA Program Chair and Vice President, 2021-2022

Richard Clucas
WPSA Executive Director

WPSA Celebrates 75 Years Young!

The WPSA is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. As part of the celebration, we are launching a major fundraising campaign and planning a variety of special events at our annual conference. We are also devoting several pages on of our website to mark the anniversary. These pages contain histories of WPSA groups, a timeline of the association’s own history, and an overview of the significant innovations that WPSA members and groups have contributed to the discipline. In addition, we have created a Graffiti Wall where members are asked to post short messages on what the WPSA has meant to them and their careers. Please add your comments to the Wall, join in the conference festivities, and consider donating to the 75th Anniversary Fundraising campaign. The money is going to a good cause. To find out more, follow the link here to Anniversary’s main web page.


Lighting Up the New Dawn— Recover, Reconcile, and Rebuild @ 75

The Western Political Science Association will host its 2022 annual meeting at the Hilton Hotel on March 10 - 12, 2022, in Portland Oregon. Please make plans to attend and encourage others to join us! The DEADLINE for submission of paper proposals/program participation forms has been extended to September 27, 2021. Additionally, the deadline for submissions for the undergraduate poster session is October 30, 2021.

We are currently updating our information and will post meeting information soon.


The Climate Crisis, Academic Conferences, and the
Western Political Science Association

A statement reflecting on the choices confronting the WPSA in light of the carbon impact of academic conferences. Written by WPSA president Jamie Mayerfeld, joined by the members of the WPSA Climate Action Committee.

WPSA Anti-Harassment Policy

1. Purpose

The Western Political Science Association was created for the purposes of promoting the study and teaching of government and politics, to foster research, and to facilitate the discussion of public affairs. The Association promotes these purposes in the spirit of free inquiry and free expression. The primary event in which WPSA members gather is at the Association’s annual conference. Harassment of colleagues, students, or other participants at the conference, or at any other WPSA-sponsored event or forum, undermines the principle of equity at the heart of the Association’s principles and is inconsistent with the principles of free inquiry and free expression. Consequently, harassment is considered by the WPSA to be a serious form of professional misconduct.

The WPSA is committed to providing a safe and welcoming conference environment for all participants, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, or religion.

“Participant” in this policy refers to anyone present at or directly involved in WPSA meetings, including staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, venue staff, WPSA members, and all other attendees.

2. Expected Behavior

All participants at WPSA meetings are expected to abide by this Anti-Harassment Policy in all meeting venues including ancillary events and official and unofficial social gatherings.
• Abide by the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange;
• If you witness potential harm to a conference participant, be proactive in helping to mitigate or avoid that harm;
• Alert conference or security personnel if you see a situation in which someone might be in imminent physical danger.

3. Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include:
• persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy;
• persistent and unwelcome solicitation of emotional or physical intimacy accompanied by real or implied threat of professional harm;
• intimidating, harassing, abusive, derogatory, or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in an WPSA meeting and/or at any related event;
• prejudicial actions or comments related to race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, or religion that coerce others, foment broad hostility, or otherwise undermine professional equity or the principles of free academic exchange;
• deliberate intimidation, stalking or following;
• harassing photography or recording;
• sustained disruption of talks or other events;
• physical assault (including unwelcome touch or groping);
• real or implied threat of physical harm.