American Sociological Association

Academic and Professional Affairs

The ASA Academic and Professional Affairs Program has two broad sets of responsibility. On the academic side, it works to advance sociology in colleges and universities, strengthen departments and their programs, and engender effective communication and collaboration between the ASA and sociology departments. It also works to identify and promote best practices in education, training, and teaching.

On the professional affairs side, it collaborates with the other departments in the ASA Executive Office to support and foster sociologists' careers at all levels—from recent Bachelors degree recipients to full professors. The Academic and Professional Affairs Program is committed to advancing sociological careers both within academia and in society at large.

The program is responsible for the Teaching Resources Center, Department Affiliates, Department Resources Group, Howery Teaching Enhancement Grants, and the annual Department Chair and Director of Graduate Study Conferences, as well as publications related to teaching, curriculum development, career, and department management.

What is the Teaching Resources Center?

The Teaching Resources Center (TRC), is based in the national office to provide leadership, publications, and resources that support teaching excellence in sociology. TRC was started in 1976 by Charles A. Goldsmid and was initially housed in the Carnegie Library at Oberlin College. With the approval of ASA Council, the TRC became an ongoing function of the ASA Executive Office in August 1978. In March 1980, it became a major component of the ASA Academic & Professional Affairs Program. The TRC is responsible for:

  • Continuously developing a diversified line of materials useful in teaching sociology courses;
  • Providing these materials at low cost to the profession;
  • Making their availability known through the media of the profession, teaching workshops, and professional meetings; and
  • Responding to inquiries regarding the teaching of sociology.

The ASA Teaching Resources Center was established through the efforts of the ASA Projects on Teaching Undergraduate Sociology; producers of the teaching resources materials; the Lilly Endowment, Inc.; the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FIPSE); Oberlin College; and ASA Council. Currently TRAILS is the primary vehicle through which the TRC fulfills its goals.


Margaret Weigers Vitullo, PhD
Director, Academic and Professional Affairs
202-383-9005 ext 323

Jaime Hecht
Program Coordinator
202-383-9005 ext 318

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