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The Pacific Sociological Association (PSA), one of the oldest regional associations in the discipline, is undergoing a transition this summer. Chuck Hohm, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University-Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and formerly at San Diego State University (SDSU), took over as PSA Executive Director on August 15 from Dean Dorn who had served in the role for 17 years, since 1993. Hohm will serve in his new position from SDSU, which will officially house the PSA’s office. In the meantime, Dorn will serve as PSA Treasurer. Also, a PSA Secretary position has been created—filled by Virginia S. Mulle at the University of Alaska Southeast.
The planning for this transition began several years ago when the responsibilities were deemed too much for one person to take on as voluntary work. It was decided that the changes would occur when Dorn stepped down. PSA changed its constitution so that the Executive Director’s duties would become more distributive, and so that there could be separate treasurer and secretary positions. As treasurer, Dorn will continue to do membership and registration for the PSA annual meeting, track the organization’s finances, and chair the PSA endowment committee as well as keep up the PSA website. The Secretary will handle the 18 committees within PSA.
Of his time as PSA Executive Director, Dorn says it was a "very fulfilling experience for me personally and professionally" and that he "enjoyed dealing with so many sociologists, both faculty and students." Dorn was actively involved in the teaching movement within the American Sociological Association and is a former editor of the journal Teaching Sociology. He fought to make PSA more inclusive and, as part of that effort, to incorporate teaching and student issues more into the association’s life.
His love of teaching has manifested itself in the many pre-professional lessons he has passed on to student members of PSA over time. Initially worried about maintaining his passion when he started at PSA (current ASA president Randall Collins was PSA president at that time), yet he has enjoyed his work immensely and has especially enjoyed working with PSA presidents of all stripes. He wrote the 75-year history of PSA, which was published in 1994; today PSA carries approximately 1,100 members.
According to Hohm, "There is simply no way I can fill Dean’s shoes, and I doubt that there has ever been a more talented, committed, caring, and effective executive director of any regional sociological association in the country."
Hohm, who has known Dorn for years, brings a wealth of administrative experience to his new position. He has been elected president of PSA, served as editor of the PSA journal, Sociological Perspectives, was the department chair and dean at SDSU and the founding dean of the college of natural and behavioral sciences at CSUDH, as well as the founder of the California Sociological Association. At PSA, one of Hohm’s major goals is to "bring the large research universities back into PSA, including the annual meeting, and membership." Hohm is already working on the 2012 PSA annual meeting and implementing plans for PSA operations to become more digitally-oriented, such as having its newsletter go online starting in January 2011.
For more detailed information on the PSA, visit the PSA website at www.pacificsoc.org.Back to Top of Page