Bill Flack

Bill Flack

Professor of Psychology
Psychology Department Chair
Cross Icon

About Bill Flack

Coordinator, Social Justice Minor

Educational Background

  • B.A., Psychology, University of Maine, Orono ME, 1982
  • M.A., Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT, 1987
  • Ph.D., Psychology (Clinical Training Program), Clark University, Worcester MA, 1993
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Research, Behavioral Science Division, National Center for PTSD, Boston Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1997

Scholarly Interests

I trained as a clinical psychologist and have focused increasingly on critical and community psychologies. My research is aimed at understanding and eliminating sexual assault and other forms of gender-based violence in the context of higher education. My teaching and research are aimed at helping students to understand the shortcomings of current psychological knowledge in order to improve it toward more socially just ends. 

Theoretically, my work is grounded in:

  • Critical psychologies (e.g., Smail, 1987/2015)
  • Critical social justice theory (e.g., Sensoy & DiAngelo, 2017)
  • Feminism (e.g., Herman, 1992; Magnusson & Marecek, 2012)

Courses Taught

Most of my courses entail community engagement and are writing-intensive.

  • PSYC 100 General Psychology
  • PSYC 230 Community Psychologies
  • PSYC 285 Research Methods in Community Psychology
  • PSYC 303 Critical Psychologies
  • PSYC 306 Trauma Psychology
  • RESC 098 Questioning for the Common Good (Foundation Seminar, Social Justice Residential College)


I do applied research on gender-based violence among university students and staff.

Students work with me as research trainees and collaborators. We conduct annual web-based surveys on sexual assault, focusing primarily on social factors related to assault victimization and perpetration. Students gain experience doing research on an important public health issue, and some do summer research and/or write honors theses based on this work during their senior year. Our results are often presented at professional conferences and occasionally published in peer-reviewed journals. Some of our findings have also been used in Bucknell's prevention education programming, in a report from the President's Task Force on Campus Climate (2011), and in an application to the Violence Against Women Campus Grant Program, US Department of Justice (2012).

I am a member of the Administrator-Researcher Campus Climate Consortium (ARC3), a group of academic deans, Title IX coordinators, and campus sexual assault researchers that developed a survey on sexual assault and related factors for general use by U.S. colleges and universities (2014-). I was a U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Scholar at Ulster University in Northern Ireland during fall 2015, and a U.S.-Ireland Fulbright Scholar at the National University of Ireland – Galway during fall 2019. I am also a Visiting Professor (honorary) in the Faculty of Life & Health Sciences, School of Psychology, at Ulster University in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. 


One way of doing critical psychology is to engage in activism informed by research in the service of social justice. Among such activities, I have arranged screenings and panel discussions of films such as Doctors of the Dark Side (Davis, 2011) and The Hunting Ground (Dick, 2014) and co-organized the conference Sexual Assault in Higher Education: The Role of Faculty as Researchers, Teachers, Policymakers and Advocates at Cornell University (2015).

Selected Publications

(since 2005; * published with Bucknell student co-author(s))

Kimble, M., Flack, W.F. Jr., Koide, J., Bennion, K., Brenneman, M., & Meyersburg, C. (2021). Student reactions to traumatic material in literature: Implications for trigger warnings. PLoS ONE16(3): e0247579.

Swartout, K.M. & Flack, W.F., Jr. (2019). Campus sexual assault. In W.S. DeKeseredy, C. Rennison, & A. Hall-Sanchez (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Violence Studies (pp. 286-295). NY: Routledge.

Swartout, K.M., Flack, W.F., Jr., Cook, S.L., Olson, L.N., Hall Smith, P., & White, J.W. (2019). Measuring campus sexual misconduct and its context: The Administrator-Researcher Campus Climate Consortium (ARC3) Survey. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

*Flack, W.F., Jr., Hansen, B.E., Hopper, A.B., Bryant, L.A., Lang, K.W., Massa, A.A., & Whalen, J.E. (2016). Some types of hookups may be riskier than others for campus sexual assault. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.

*Flack, W.F., Jr., Kimble, M., Campbell, B.E., Hopper, A.B., Peterca, O., & Heller, E.J. (2015). Sexual assault among female undergraduates during study abroad: A single campus study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30, 3453-3466. doi: 10.1177/0886260514563833

*Kimble, M., Flack, W.F., Jr., & Burbridge, E. (2013). Study abroad increases risk for sexual assault in female undergraduates: A preliminary report. PsychologicalTrauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5, 426-430. doi: 10.1037/a0029608

Flack, W.F., Jr., & Milanak, M.E. (2012). Date rape/acquaintance rape. In C. Figley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of trauma (pp. 193-194). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

*Flack, W.F., Jr., & Kanga, M.R. (2010). Sexual victimization (not rape). In B. Fisher & S. Lab (Eds.), Encyclopedia of victimology and crime prevention (pp. 868-869). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

*Kimble, M., Neacsiu, D., Flack, W.F., Jr., & Horner, J. (2008). Risk of unwanted sex for college women: Evidence for a "red zone." Journal of American College Health, 57, 331-337. doi: 10.3200/JACH.57.3.331-338

DeKeseredy, W.S., & Flack, W.F., Jr. (2008). Sexual assault in colleges and universities. In G. Barak (Ed.), Battleground criminal justice (p. 693-697). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

*Flack, W.F., Jr., Caron, M.L., Leinen, S.J., Breitenbach, K.G., Barber, A.M., Brown, E.N., Gilbert, C.T., Harchak, T.F.,Hendricks, M.M., Rector, C.E., Schatten, H.T., & Stein, H.C. (2008). The red zone: Temporal risk for unwanted sex among college students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 23, 1177-1196. doi: 10.1177/0886260508314308

*Flack, W.F., Jr., Daubman, K.A., Caron, M.L., Asadorian, J., D'Aureli, N., Kiser, S., Hall, A., Gigliotti, S., & Stine, E. (2007). Risk factors and consequences of unwanted sex among university students: Hooking up, alcohol, and stress response. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22, 139-157. doi:10.1177/0886260506295354

*Flack, W.F., Jr., Milanak, M.E., & Kimble, M.O. (2005). Emotional numbing in relation to stressful civilian experiences among college students. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18, 569-573. doi: 10.1002/jts.20066

I acknowledge that I am a tenured, older, White, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, upper middle class, male professor and that I benefit unfairly from working in an institution, discipline, and society designed and maintained to advantage people like me, to the disadvantage of those whose identities differ from my own. I am committed to using my teaching, scholarship, and service to challenge and change the institution, discipline, and society to achieve social justice, and I welcome you to join me in this endeavor. I live and work within the traditional territory of the Susquehannock people, and acknowledge their historic, unceded relationship with the land. This statement is a reminder of the truth-telling and healing that is yet to come. (Parts of this acknowledgment are based on work by Professor Vershawn Ashanti Young.)

Further Information

Contact Details