The Politics of Presence in Academic Professional Associations: A Research Note on Governance at the APSA
by Amy Atchison, Valparaiso University
Professional associations like the APSA are intended to represent the interests of all of the members of the profession. The APSA has worked diligently to increase diversity in its leadership, successfully bringing more women and minorities into APSA governance. However, there has not been a corresponding effort to ensure that members from diverse institution types have a seat at the table. This is important because different institution types have different professional issues and interests. In this research note, I explore the extent to which APSA’s leadership is reflective of the range of institution types in higher education. I find that the APSA’s leadership is disproportionately comprised of members from large universities and elite graduate programs. I conclude with potential ramifications and suggestions for further research.