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Executive Officer Levine to Depart ASA in May 2002

Executive Officer Felice J. Levine has announced that she will leave the American Sociological Association in May to become Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). On accepting Levine’s resignation, President Barbara Reskin emphasized the “loss to the ASA of Levine’s departure.” She indicated that Levine “has brought tremendous vision, energy, leadership, and management skills that have importantly advanced the discipline and the ASA. We are in a different place and will continue to be because of the work accomplished during her tenure.”

Levine has served as Executive Officer since August 1991. Since that time, the activities and responsibilities of this position have expanded substantially. Secretary Arne Kalleberg praised Levine’s accomplishments in strengthening sociology and the ASA, noting that “her achievements are both internal and external to the Association. Internally, she has dedicated herself to activities ranging from enhancing ASA as a scholarly publisher to providing ASA sections with more latitude to develop their work. Her day-to-day efforts to promote the Annual Meeting, to pursue innovations in publishing like Contexts, to work with departments across the academy, and to bring in grant support to strengthen our activities have made a tremendous difference. In terms of policies and programs, the Spivack Program in Applied Social Research and Social Policy, the Minority Opportunities through School Transformation Program, and ASA’s newest initiative on Integrating Data Analysis into the Classroom exemplify Levine’s commitment to ASA’s leadership role and to excellence and inclusiveness in the discipline.“

The position of Executive Officer also includes representing ASA in external relations and public affairs. In that role, Levine has successfully raised the visibility and presence of sociology. She has worked to expand funding and support for sociology at the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other agencies and private foundations. She has also played a leadership role on research, education, and science policy issues including data access and sharing, investments in databases and infrastructure, professional ethics, and the protection of human subjects. As ASA representative, Levine serves on the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (which she chaired from 1997-2000) and is on the Board of the National Humanities Alliance. She also represents ASA on the Advisory Committee for the Decennial Census. In January 2000, Levine was appointed by Donna Shalala, then Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, to the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee (NHRPAC).

Levine said that “I have always been deeply honored to serve as ASA’s Executive Officer (EO). Sociology is a great cause, and I see what we are doing at ASA and the job of EO as important responsibilities.” Reflecting on her career change, she said that “this was the single hardest professional decision I have had to make. A choice between win-and-win is not bad. The pull of working with a larger, excellent research association like AERA to bring research knowledge to bear on educational policy and practice was the lure.”

The American Educational Research Association represents more than 23,000 researchers from across the social and behavioral sciences and education. Founded in 1916, it holds an annual meeting of some 10,000 participants and offers a comprehensive program of scholarly publications, training, fellowships, and initiatives to disseminate research.

Secretary Kalleberg announced that the search for a new Executive Officer will commence immediately (see Click here for more information). As chair of the Committee on the Executive Office and Budget (EOB), Kalleberg leads the search. “As Levine put it,” he said, “the Executive Officer position is an exciting and important one for the discipline.” Kalleberg emphasized that “We want to reach out to a wide and diverse pool of candidates who might be excellent for the job, whether or not they are looking for a career change. Please send your nominations and applications.”