WPSA Anti-Harassment Policy
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. To live up to that commitment, the WPSA Executive Council adopted an Anti-Harassment Policy last year. The complete Anti-Harassment Policy can be found in this year's program
Opportunities for Workshops, Mini-Conferences, and Special EventsThe annual meeting not only presents an opportunity for traditional research presentations and panels, but also a place for interested groups to schedule special events and workshops. On the Wednesday right before the conference begins, there may be some space available to accommodate groups who wish to hold workshops or offer short courses. In addition, if you are part of research community that is interested in holding a meeting in the spring, we may be able to accommodate your group by coordinating a mini-conference within the conference. The association does not charge for providing the space and support for these mini-conference, though the attendees are required to register for the WPSA meeting. There is also the opportunity to host receptions, business meetings, and special events. For information about these opportunities, please contact Richard Clucas, WPSA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the WPSA President
NEW PRQ EDITORS ANNOUNCED
The Western Political Science Association would like to announce the selection of new editors for the Political Research Quarterly:
Seth C. McKee, Texas Tech University
Editor in Chief, American Politics Field Editor
Toby J. Rider, Texas Tech University
International Relations Field Editor
Frank C. Thames, Texas Tech University
Comparative Politics and Gender Politics Field Editor
Sophia Jordán Wallace, University of Washington
Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Field Editor
David Lay Williams, DePaul University
Political Theory and Philosophy Field Editor
The McKee team was approved by the WPSA Executive Council at its August meeting in San Francisco, California. The team will be replacing Jeanette Mendez (Oklahoma State University), James Scott (Texas Christian University), and Clarissa Hayward (Washington University) at the conclusion of their term in July 2018. The association would like to thank Jeanette, James, and Clarissa for their service as PRQ editors. During their tenure, the three editors oversaw a continued expansion in the quality and reputation of the quarterly. Their work has been stellar, and the association is very appreciative of all that they have done.
The association would also like to thank Cyrus Ernesto Zirakzadeh, University of Connecticut, for chairing the PRQ Editor Search Committee, and the other members of the committee:
Mark Button, University of Utah
Val Martinez-Ebers, University of North Texas
Gary Segura, University of California, Los Angeles
Richard Clucas, WPSA Executive Director
Finally, I would personally like to thank all the applicants for the editor position. The WPSA and PRQ could not succeed without the support of individuals like you. I thank you for applying and hope to continue seeing you play an important role in the association.
Congratulations, Seth, Toby, Frank, Sophia, and David. All of us involved in the association look forward to working with you.
Stephen Nicholson, WPSA President
University of California, Merced
WPSA MOVES 2019 CONFERENCE OUT OF TEXAS
The Western Political Science Association's 2019 conference was originally scheduled to be held in San Antonio, Texas. In June, however, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra placed a ban on state-funded travel to Texas because of the state's discriminatory LGBT laws. The WPSA Executive Council voted at its meeting in August to respond to the ban and to Texas's discriminatory policies by relocating the conference to California. Last month, the association cancelled its 2019 contract with the Hyatt Regency San Antonio and signed a new contract with the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego. The conference in San Diego will be held on April 18 to 20, 2019.
WPSA Statement on Continued Assaults Against Academic Freedom
The Western Political Science Association notes with grave alarm the
resignation of Drexel University's George Ciccariello-Maher as of December
31, 2017. Despite a formal statement in which Drexel acknowledged his
"significant scholarly contributions" and "outstanding"
teaching record, it had placed him on leave making it impractical for
him to practice his craft. Ciccariello-Maher's resignation is a crucial
reminder that academic freedom cannot survive, let alone flourish, without
the full support of the entire university community. No one should be
placed in Professor Ciccariello-Maher's position and be required, in the
face of political pressure and personal and familial death threats, to
embody and defend the core principles to the mission of higher education
by themselves. His fate should serve as a call to arms to the academic
community at large. Organized assaults against academic freedom continue.
WPSA STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM
There is no principle more central to our work as intellectuals than academic freedom. Academic freedom protects the integrity of our classroom and the integrity of our laboratories. It exists, not to protect our ability to speak popular opinions, but to protect our ability to offer unpopular opinions, to swim against the stream, to challenge existing orthodoxies and received knowledge.
Drexel University's decision to place Professor Ciccariello-Maher on administrative leave, ostensibly in response to threats of violence against him for controversial remarks he made about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, comes at the expense of academic freedom. The Western Political Science Association stands firmly behind Professor Ciccariello-Maher's freedom to communicate and express ideas, both in public forums and classrooms. We are alarmed that Drexel restricted a professor from promoting inquiry, communicating knowledge, and exchanging ideas in the classroom. We are also greatly concerned that Drexel's actions might have a chilling effect on academic freedom by discouraging other academics from engaging audiences outside the university. Although threats to Professor Ciccariello-Maher and his campus community must be taken seriously and those making them held responsible, we are adamantly opposed to Drexel's actions becoming a common response to similar circumstances.