Bernice Resnick Sandler

For more than four decades, Dr. Bernice Resnick Sandler was a tireless advocate of educational equality for women and girls.

From 1969-1971, Dr. Sandler served as the Chair of the Action Committee for Federal Contract Compliance of the Women’s Equity Action League. In this position, she filed charges of sex discrimination against 250 educational institutions using a little-known federal Executive Order prohibiting contractors from discriminating against employees. It was this strategy that led to the first federal investigations of campus sex discrimination at a time when no laws existed to prohibit discrimination based on gender in education.

Subsequently, Sandler was instrumental in the development, passage and implementation of Title IX, the legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. Working closely with Representative Edith Green (D-OR) in 1970, Dr. Sandler organized and testified at the first congressional hearing dealing specifically with sex discrimination in education and employment.

In that same year, Dr. Sandler served as the Educational Specialist for the House of Representatives Special Subcommittee on Education, making her the first woman ever appointed to a Congressional committee staff to work specifically on women’s issues. In 1971, she wrote the education section for the first federal policy report on sex discrimination in education. In 1975, Dr. Sandler was appointed by Presidents Ford and Carter as the first Chair of the National Advisory Council on Women’s Educational Programs.

Dr. Sandler served as a Senior Scholar in Residence at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC. An expert in strategies and policies to prevent and respond to sex discrimination in higher education, she gave more than 2,500 presentations. Dr. Sandler was the recipient of numerous awards, including twelve honorary degrees.

Year Honored: 2013
Birth: 1928 - 2019
Born In: New York
Achievements: Education, Humanities
Worked In: Maryland, District of Columbia
Educated In: New York, Maryland
Schools Attended: Brooklyn College, City College, University of Maryland