Dr. R. Lorraine Bernotsky

  • Title: Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs & Full Professor
  • Email: RBernotsky@wcupa.edu
  • Phone: 610-436-2286


  • Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, (Interim July 2015 to February 2016), March 2016 to present
  • Associate Provost and Dean of The Graduate School, West Chester University, July 2012 to June 2015
  • Professor of Political Science, West Chester University, June 2006 to present
  • Director, Master of Public Administration, West Chester University, 2007 to present
  • Director, Center for Social and Economic Research, West Chester University, 1998 to present
  • Associate Professor of Political Science, West Chester University, Spring 2001 to Spring 2006
  • Assistant Professor of Political Science, West Chester University, Fall 1996 to Spring 2001
  • Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus, Instructor in Sociology, Summer 1992 to Summer 1996
  • Temple University, Instructor in Sociology, Fall 1991 to 1993

Dr. Lorraine (Laurie) Bernotsky provides leadership in the areas of curriculum development, general education, graduate education, new program development, program review, assessment, accreditation, articulation agreements with other 2- and 4-year institutions, academic policies, and faculty development. She oversees the The Graduate School, the Office of Institutional Research, the office of the Dean of University College, as well as the Teaching and Learning Assessment Connection. Dr. Bernotsky is also the founder of WCU’s Center for Social and Economic Policy Research. The Center has strong connections with government and nonprofit organizations in the region and has prepared and disseminated dozens of technical research reports, presented findings in a variety of public and community venues (radio, print media, television, and live events), and maintained an active research, evaluation, and policy expertise presence on behalf of WCU for local and regional nonprofit, public, and private organizations. Dr. Bernotsky earned an M.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford and an M.A. in Sociology from Temple University before completing her D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford. Her research interests and publications include women in politics, economic development, as well teaching and learning.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Politics, 1996, University of Oxford. Dissertation title: Family Matters: Symbol and Substance in the Political Mobilization of Traditional Women
  • Master of Arts in Sociology, 1993, Temple University
    • Areas of specialization: Research Methodology, Political Sociology, Social Movements, Sociological Theory, Sociology of the Family,
    • Independent research specialization: political mobilization, social movements, and women in politics Master of Philosophy in Politics, 1991, University of Oxford
    • M. Phil. thesis: A Step into Politics: Concerned Women for America and the Mobilization of Traditional Women
    • Areas of specialization: American Government, Political Sociology, Political Theory, Political Institutions
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Magna Cum Laude, Messiah College, 1989

Community and Other Services

Dr. Bernotsky has worked with a number of community organizations in her capacity as the Director of the Center for Social and Economic Research (CSER). She has provided research and need assessment studies for the following organizations and groups: Greater Harrisburg Health Start, Chester County Futures Program, Chester County Fund for Women and Girls, Math/Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia, Berks County Community Health Department and the Chester County Department of Public Health, Chester County United Way, among others.

Publications, Technical Reports, and Commissioned Research

  • "Evaluating College Readiness: Are Federal and State Policies Helping or Hindering the Effort?" Forthcoming. Educational Policy. Steven L. Kramer, Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., R. Lorraine Bernotsky, Edward Wolff, F. Joseph Merlino, Tanya I. Garcia, and Helen M. Kramer.
  • "Determining Demand & Capacity for Master’s Level Supervised Program: One University’s Feasibility Study." 2014 (1). Nutrition and Dietetic Educators Preceptors: Line. Mary Beth Gilboy, Lynn Monahan Couch, Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr, and R. Lorraine Bernotsky.
  • "Yesterday’s Gains vs. Today’s Realities: Lessons from Ten Years of Economic Development Practice." 2012. Economic Development Quarterly 26 (4). Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., Susan M. Opp, and R. Lorraine Bernotsky.
  • "Urban Political Theory and the Case of the Local Government Simulation." 2012. Journal of Political Science Education 8 (4). Jeffery L. Osgood, Jr., Chris Stangl and R. Lorraine Bernotsky.
  • Chester County Fund for Women and Girls: Blueprint Report 2010: A Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Chester County. Available at http://www.ccwomenandgirls.org/DefaultPage.aspx?pgid=84&m=2. Bernotsky, R. Lorraine and Osgood, Jeffery.
  • The financial and non-financial factors associated with 11th grade student academic proficiency in mathematics and reading. (Available from http://www.mspgp.org/library/0_25536500%201245358115_725688498.pdf). Merlino, J.F., Bernotsky, R. L., Feldman, J.M., and Rui, N.
  • Making Poverty History in Chester County. Available at http://dsf.chesco.org/poverty/site/default.asp. Bernotsky, R. Lorraine, and Couto, G.
  • "An Economic Development Inventory for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education," in the Pennsylvania Economic Association Proceedings, May 2006. Thomas O. Armstrong, R. Lorraine Bernotsky, Lou Bohl-Fabian, Peter H. Loedel, and Khalil Yazdi.

Classes Regularly Taught

  •  PPA 501 Research Methods in Public Administration

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