>

MPSA Outlines Association Efforts Toward Greater Transparency in Harassment Reporting Procedures and Policies During Midwest Women’s Caucus Meeting

CHICAGO, April 6, 2019 - On Friday, MPSA President-Elect Sarah Binder of George Washington University and The Brookings Institution and MPSA Membership and Communications Director Melissa Heeke presented an update to the members of the Midwest Women’s Caucus for Political Science at the caucus business meeting held in conjunction with the 2019 MPSA Conference in Chicago. During the meeting, Binder addressed the series of efforts the association has made toward greater transparency in harassment reporting procedures and policies since the last annual conference.

Those efforts include:

  • The creation and implementation of a new Editorial Conflict of Interest Policy to further ensure the integrity of the American Journal of Political Science’s publishing process,
  • Enhancing the MPSA Council Code of Conduct for councilmembers,
  • Strengthening MPSA’s Anti-Harassment Policy to more closely align with that of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and create a more robust process for handling complaints,
  • Establishing new procedures to allow members and conference participants to more easily report harassment including the introduction of a MPSA Meeting Ombuds and a confidential third-party reporting system (EthicsPoint). For more information on these reporting initiatives, please visit www.MPSAnet.org/conduct.
  • Creating two status committees to provide a formal mechanism to receive input from underrepresented groups. The two status committees are the Committee on the Status of Gender and Sexual Minorities in Political Science and the Committee on the Status of Ethnic and Racial Minorities in Political Science,
  • Additionally, the MPSA President will soon appoint a committee to finalize the proposal to create a Committee on Professional Ethics.

Additionally, Binder answered questions regarding the ongoing review of allegations made regarding the association’s handling of William Jacoby’s resignation from the AJPS editorship. The association anticipates receipt of a third-party review in the Spring and will share findings with caucus leadership, as appropriate. MPSA asks that judgement is reserved until the findings of the independent review are made available.

The MPSA leadership, membership, and members of the discipline must work together to create an environment where victims of harassment, bias, and/or discrimination can voice their concerns without threat of recriminations or reprisals. The association believes that by working together, the discipline can ensure that MPSA events, communications, and editorial processes are free from bias and discrimination.