Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2010.08.15
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to email@example.com
1. Inside Higher Ed - Out Presidents
2. Oregon Daily Emerald - UO named gay-friendly campus
3. The Daily Collegian (Penn State) - Honor shows PSU's dedication
4. Indiana Daily Student - IU tops gay-friendly college chart
5. Inside Higher Ed - Asking More Than Male or Female
6. Ithaca College Office of Media Relations - Campus Climate Index Rates Ithaca College Among Most Gay-Friendly Colleges
7. The Associated Press - Lesbian cadet quits West Point, cites `don't ask'
8. Pride Source/Between The Lines News - Openly gay former Ford CFO to head WSU
9. Pride Source/Between The Lines News - EMU defends counseling student's dismissal
10. Morning Sentinel - UMF chief helps found gay college leaders' group
1. Inside Higher Ed, August 9, 2010
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
By Scott Jaschik
Nine college and university presidents gathered in Chicago over the weekend and decided to form a new organization that will promote the professional development of gay academics as well as work on education and advocacy issues.
The meeting was the first attempt to gather the growing number of out college presidents (25 were invited) -- and participants said in interviews after the event that they wanted to encourage more gay academics to aspire to leadership positions and wanted to push higher education to include issues of sexual orientation when talking about diversity. The partners of some of the presidents also attended and held their own discussions, and the new group plans to be a place to talk about issues related to the partners and other family members of gay presidents.
"I think it was great that we met. We all kind of felt we were making history, and we had a really good time talking about issues that were relevant to us as presidents and as LGBT people," said Theodora J. Kalikow, president of the University of Maine at Farmington.
The new organization has been named the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, said Charles Middleton, president of Roosevelt University and co-host of the meeting. The group plans to reconvene first in a few months, and then perhaps at next year's meeting of the American Council on Education.
"As university presidents, we talked first and foremost about what is our presidential responsibility as leaders in higher education," Middleton said. To that end, the group will focus on leadership development for those who are gay presidents or who aspire to be, professional development for gay people at all levels of academe, and on education and advocacy to promote equity and diversity.
"As the world evolves, we are going to have things to say on specific issues," he said.
Middleton said that it's time for an organization like this to exist. College leaders nationally are talking about the need for new leaders in all kinds of educational fields, and the country cannot afford to write off any one group, he said. Gay academics "need to be taken off the exclusion list," he said.
Several of the presidents noted that they came together at a time when issues of gay rights are very much in the news -- both for society as a whole and higher education in particular. The presidents met the same week that a federal judge rejected California's ban on gay marriage and the same year that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of public colleges to require all recognized student groups to abide by anti-bias policies -- including policies that some religious groups object to because they cover sexual orientation.
Raymond Crossman, president of the Adler School of Professional Psychology and the meeting's other co-host, said that "I think it's no accident that there's an appetite to do this right now. It's a particular moment in the culture right now, and I think we have something to offer about educating the academy."
Crossman said he views such advocacy as a traditional role of a college president, even if the issues being raised may not be same ones on which other presidents have focused. "I think that as presidents of colleges and universities there's always been a role to take positions, to be part of a continuing dialogue in our culture," he said.
Kalikow said that she hoped the group would send a clear message to gay academics that, if they aspire to leadership positions at their institutions, "it is doable." As president at Farmington since 1994, when it was much more unusual to name an out president, Kalikow said she was well aware that attitudes have changed and also that there are still institutions where a gay or lesbian leader might not be welcome. It's important, she said, for an aspiring gay academic "to listen to the little voice in your head that says, 'Don't do that,' " about going to a particular institution that might be hostile.
But she said that gay academics need to know they can aim high. "My advice is to be out since you are a baby or as soon as possible. But then, the reason we get these positions is by being really excellent at what we do. That's the most important thing. You have to believe in yourself, not set lower expectations, and find the place that's the right match."
One of the topics of discussion at the meeting was how to view the extent of progress in presidencies being open to gay candidates. While the numbers today would have been shocking a generation ago, most of the presidents said that there are many colleges that because of their location, religious ties or other factors are highly unlikely to be open to gay presidential candidates, at least in the near future. Many of the colleges that have named gay presidents are places with "strong social justice missions," Crossman said.
"There are sectors in higher education where this is a very difficult issue," said Ralph Hexter, who is the president of Hampshire College (and who celebrated with his campus when, in 2007, after gay marriage became recognized in Massachusetts, he married his partner).
"We talked about the fact that there are certain regions" where it would be more difficult to be an out president, said Hexter, who recently announced that he would be leaving his presidency. "One of the hallmarks of our group is that we are out LGBT, and we all know there are many, many others who for whatever reasons -- their regions, their personal situations, their institutions -- are not out. This is not an organization that will push anyone out of the closet, but maybe more people will look at us and say, 'Hey, these people are OK.' " Likewise, he said that search committees may look at the organization and realize that they can consider the candidacies of gay people to be president.
He said that the current gay presidents "are pioneers in a way" and "I think you are going to see a lot more in the next five years."
"It's important for gay and lesbian leaders in higher education see a path," he said. Hexter added that he didn't know of any such group in any other country and he also hoped it would send a message abroad -- including in countries where people might not think it possible to be a gay university president.
2. Oregon Daily Emerald, August 9, 2010
1222 E. 13th Ave. #300, Eugene, OR 97403
UO named gay-friendly campus
By Stefan Verbano
The University was recently credited as having one of the top 19 college campuses nationwide in terms of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT)-friendliness and acceptance.
Campus Pride, a national non-profit organization committed to creating safer and more inclusive college campuses, released its 2010 LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index last Tuesday, commending the University along with 18 other schools across the country, ranking it five out of five stars in criteria like LGBT housing, safety and student and academic life. The study was based on information collected from more than 6,000 self-identified gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered students and staff members from the 230 participating schools.
Oregon State University was the only other northwest college to earn a five-star ranking, grouped with Midwest and East Coast schools like Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Ohio State University and Washington University in St. Louis. Out of the Pac-10, UCLA, California and USC also made the index. Southern Oregon University and Willamette University received 4.5 stars, followed closely by Lewis and Clark College with four stars and Eastern Oregon University with 2.5.
Student affairs officials on campus believe the high ranking comes in the wake of ongoing efforts to support LGBT inclusion and awareness through campus activities such as the Day of Silence, drag shows, and Coming Out Week.
“Any time we can be acknowledged for the hard work we have done; it really feels like a reward,” Director of LGBT Educational and Support Services Chicora Martin said. “It is nice to be recognized for the high level of support we offer LGBT students.”
Martin believes that if the University continues to top gay-friendly campus lists, it will attract a greater number of prospective LGBT students looking for schools acceptant of and catering to their specific sexual orientations.
“I hope more LGBT students will come to the UO because of this,” Martin said. “If they feel like they have a support system here, that’s a big part of being comfortable.”
The Index has been collecting data since 2001 when Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride’s executive director, created the index as a tool for assisting college campuses in improving LGBT students’ campus lifestyles and the educational experiences.
“The rising number of campuses across the nation willing to stand up and speak out for their LGBT students is a testament to the growing recognition that educational environments should be safe and inclusive of all people ...” Windmeyer said on the Campus Climate Index Web site. “Although not all schools earn a five-star ranking, their voluntary presence and participation in the index shows they are committed to ‘coming out’ for their students.”
3. The Daily Collegian (Penn State), August 10, 2010
123 S. Burrowes St., University Park, PA 16801
Honor shows PSU's dedication
Penn State, along with 19 other universities around the country, recently received a five-star rating for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion and friendliness by Campus Pride, a North Carolina based organization.
This rating, which the university received for the second year in a row, sends a clear message about Penn State's attitude toward members of the LGBT community. It is great to see that people can celebrate who they are and feel comfortable being themselves on campus.
Over the past few years, there has been a tremendous growth in LGBT acceptance throughout the area. The late Mayor Bill Welch performed a same-sex marraige ceremony in 2008 and there is now an annual gay pride march through State College. Pride week has become a recognized time every spring, and the Valentine's Day KissOut is now a solid tradition.
Though it shows progress and excellence, the five-star rating is something that needs to be maintained. Five stars doesn't mean discrimination toward members of the LGBT community doesn't happen. As a student body and an administration, it is important not to become complacent and to work toward equality for all, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Being straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender doesn't define a person -- it is merely one of the pieces that make up the intricate puzzle of who they are. But it is comforting to know that Penn State can foster an environment where people can celebrate that piece of themselves without hesitation or fear.
4. Indiana Daily Student, August 11, 2010
940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
IU tops gay-friendly college chart
By Madeline Haller
Striving to create community through diversity — this is one of the main motivations for IU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Support Services Office every year.
Working toward that goal might be one of the reasons IU has recently been rated by Campus Pride as a premier gay-friendly college, receiving a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.
“We are always excited to see good reviews from Campus Pride,” said Doug Bauder, GLBTSSS Office coordinator.
“We feel really good about the support we provide for the students on campus. It’s always a great feeling knowing that we’re turning out some national advocates for promoting and defending diversity. I am really proud of what we’ve been able to do.”
Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization working to create safer college environments for GLBT students, has created a tool for ranking the top GLBT-friendly colleges throughout the country to help students and parents with the college search.
“Typically the more popular LGBT-friendly colleges are near the East or West coasts in the bigger states like California or New York,” said Shane Windmeyer, IU alumnus and co-founder of Campus Pride. “But that doesn’t mean schools in the Midwest should (negatively) compare their ranking to the schools on the coasts. IU is doing very well for itself — it’s amongst the most progressive LGBT-friendly schools in the Midwest.”
Since its inception in 2001, the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index has helped universities learn how to improve their GLBT campus life as well as provide a more educational and welcoming environment for GLBT people.
The index consists of more than 50 questions that correspond to eight GLBT-friendly factors: GLBT housing and residence life, policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, student life, academic life, campus safety, counseling and health, and recruitment and retention efforts.
After the responses are reviewed, the universities are ranked and given feedback on areas that can be improved.
But those at Campus Climate are not the only ones feeling the love at IU. Students notice the non-biased environment, as well.
“I was never once greeted with hatred or discrimination (at IU),” sophomore Michael Kremer said.
“I think it has a lot to do with how parents raised their children and how the University as a whole promotes diversity.
“Yes, there will still be some skeptics that say gays shouldn’t be allowed to go to college, along with their other ridiculous statements — but never has this University, to my knowledge, discriminated against someone based on their sexuality.”
IU reaches out to those in the Bloomington community through the GLBTSSS Office. There, students can receive support and connect with others in a non-judgmental environment. The office has a library open to the public containing books, magazines and films covering GLBT issues.
“We provide a variety of services to the students, anything from scholarships to counseling,” Bauder said. “Our staff can serve as mentors. They are there to answer questions or just let you in on what fun events are happening in the community.”
The office also pairs up with the other organizations on campus to promote awareness at events like IU’s annual Culture Fest.
“Even though we are not a culture center, it makes our office proud to know that IU supports the work we do and allows us to get involved with the event,” Bauder said. “It’s just really important that students know there is someplace like this on campus.”
IU is even getting involved with nationwide movements, such as the third annual OUT & GREEK National Leadership Conference, which will take place this November in Bloomington.
Because a substantial portion of the student body is involved with greek life, holding the conference in Bloomington gives IU an opportunity to create a safer GLBT experience for students involved in fraternities and sororities, as well as promote campus-wide support for the freedom of gender identity.
“It’s refreshing to know that I can feel safe and welcomed at a university that I love,” Kremer said.
5. Inside Higher Ed, August 12, 2010
1320 18th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036
Asking More Than Male or Female
By Scott Jaschik
The Common Application is considering adding voluntary questions about applicants' sexual orientation and gender identity. The application is used by hundreds of colleges and universities -- including many of the most competitive.
The current norm in higher education is not to ask such questions, even on a voluntary basis. But with more students coming out in high school, and with some colleges explicitly taking steps to recruit gay applicants, some admissions officers and some advocates for gay students want to encourage colleges to ask the questions. But the possible switch could be controversial. The Common Application has conducted a nonbinding survey of its members and -- while not releasing results -- has indicated that the membership is split. (The association's board will decide the question.)
The current Common Application simply gives two choices -- male or female -- on gender. Common Application officials have stressed that they will continue to ask that question, and to specify that applicants should check the box consistent with their birth certificates. That's because colleges use some of the demographic data collected to meet federal reporting requirements, and single-sex institutions need to know that applicants are eligible for admission.
On the issue of sexual orientation, one proposal under consideration would feature a drop-down menu that would let students select gay/lesbian, bisexual, straight/heterosexual or "another identity" that could be listed. Another approach -- if the organization adds a question on sexual orientation -- is to simply provide a free text field and ask the question about orientation.
On the issue of gender identity, the Common Application is considering options that would explain why the male/female question must be asked consistent with federal reporting requirements, but which would then go on to tell applicants that if there is a word that better describes their identity beyond male or female, they are welcome to add that.
Shane L. Windmeyer, the founder of Campus Pride, a national group that works on behalf of gay students and sponsors college fairs at which gay students can meet college representatives, said it was past time for colleges to add such questions. "It is 2010," he said. "Colleges should take responsibility for their LGBT students at the front end of the admissions process. We have students from across the country who are already out when they apply, and this should just be part of the process. There is no reason these students should be invisible when it comes to applying for college."
Campus Pride and the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals are among the groups that have been urging the Common Application to add the questions.
David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said that "the more data that can be collected, the more that can be done with it," and he stressed that admissions officials use demographic data to recruit students and improve student services.
Most public discussion of the demographic boxes students check on college applications focuses on affirmative action, but most colleges are not terribly competitive in admissions so it is much more common for colleges to use the information for tracking and recruitment purposes. So colleges will pay attention to trends in applications and enrollments from a range of groups that they consider important for various reasons, and ask why so few female engineers enroll, for instance, or why an institution has gained popularity with Texans. Likewise colleges use demographic information to reach out to students -- before admissions decisions have been made -- to tell them about programs and services for various groups.
Hawkins stressed that admissions officers would support asking only those questions "that promote understanding and nondiscrimination." (The Common Application has a strict anti-bias policy that includes sexual orientation.) He said he could see the possible questions as a good way for some high school students to find out whether colleges will be welcoming. "The more we can offer openness and comfort for all students, the better," he said.
He also said he thought the Common Application had enough clout that a move by it in this direction could likely influence other institutions. (The Common Application has a competitor, the Universal College Application, with fewer members, and that group has indicated that it would consider adding questions, too, if members expressed support.)
Rob Killion, executive director of the Common Application, said that comments members have sent in for consideration by the association's board are confidential, so he couldn't release them. But generally, he said that those with concerns about adding the voluntary questions have cited issues from the applicants' perspective: "Would the student feel pressure to answer? Would the student worry how this information would be used? Would the student worry who had access to this information? Would the student worry that a negative decision was in part because of their answer?"
He said that those writing in favor of the questions also "typically cited the benefits for the student," such as "targeted recruiting efforts, campus diversity efforts, funding for adequate campus resources, etc."
6. Ithaca College Office of Media Relations, August 12, 2010
219 Alumni Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850-7044
Campus Climate Index Rates Ithaca College Among Most Gay-Friendly Colleges
Contact: Dave Maley
ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College is among only 19 schools nationwide to earn five stars — the highest rating — in the Campus Pride Climate Index. Campus Pride is a national nonprofit organization that works to create a safer environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) college students.
The index takes an in-depth look at LGBT-friendly policies, programs and practices at over 230 colleges and universities. The institutions are ranked from one to five stars, depending on their answers to a detailed, voluntary questionnaire submitted to Campus Pride. The annual index has become a staple in student and faculty research, campus organizing efforts and benchmarking for LGBT student safety and inclusion.
“The rising number of campuses across the nation willing to stand up and speak out for their LGBT students is a testament to the growing recognition that educational environments should be safe and inclusive of all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Shane Windmeyer, Campus Pride executive director and creator of the climate index.
Other institutions earning the five-star rating include Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Vermont, Carleton College, Oberlin College and the University of California, Berkeley.
“Ithaca’s rating reflects the exceptional commitment and contributions of students, staff and faculty who together have created a campus community that honors and values sexual and gender diversity,” said Lis Maurer, program director for the college’s Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services. “I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in recognizing and meeting the current and emerging needs of LGBT students.”
In the individual categories that make up the rating, Ithaca College scored particularly high for LGBT support and institutional commitment, student life, academic life, campus safety, and counseling and health. The entry for Ithaca on the Campus Pride website makes note of the resources and services provided by the LGBT Center; the number of student LGBT and allied organizations; and the welcoming atmosphere in the larger Ithaca community. This fall the college is opening a new Residential Learning Community for students who are interested in issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.
To read the Ithaca College entry, visit http://www.campusclimateindex.org. To learn more about the Ithaca College LGBT Center, visit http://www.ithaca.edu/sacl/lgbt.
7. The Associated Press, August 12, 2010
450 W. 33rd St., New York, NY 10001
Lesbian cadet quits West Point, cites `don't ask'
By The Associated Press
WEST POINT, N.Y. — A lesbian cadet asked to resign from the U.S. Military Academy because she said she can no longer lie about her sexuality and was troubled by the anti-gay attitudes of some around her.
Katherine Miller of Findlay, Ohio, also said she wants to fight for repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, a subject she was studying and writing about as a sociology major at West Point.
"I intend for my resignation to offer a concrete example of the consequences of a failed law and social policy," she wrote in her resignation letter on Monday, referring to the law against gays serving openly in the military.
Miller wrote proudly of her accomplishments as a student, athlete and soldier and said that she had not been pressured by anyone to resign. But she wrote of being "coerced into ignoring derogatory comments towards homosexuals for fear of being alienated for my viewpoint" and that she "endured sexual harassment for fear of being accused as a lesbian."
Miller said by e-mail that she wasn't immediately available to speak with The Associated Press on Thursday, but she confirmed the resignation letter.
In the letter, she said she fabricated a heterosexual dating history to share with any fellow cadets who asked.
"In short, I have lied to my classmates and compromised my integrity and identity by adhering to existing military policy," she said.
Ranked ninth in the class of more than 1,100 cadets about to start their third year, Miller's resignation letter was dated a week before she would be required to sign a commitment to finish her final two years and serve five years in the military.
Jim Fox, a West Point spokesman, said Miller will remain at the academy while her request is reviewed. That takes about a week, he said.
Miller "is in good standing and has done very well academically, militarily and physically while at the academy," Fox said Thursday. Cadets may withdraw at any point in their first two years without owing the government service or compensation for the education and benefits they've received.
Miller has been admitted to Yale University, starting in September.
She said she will work through her studies and political activism to win repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" law and would apply to return to West Point in the 2011-2012 academic year if that happens soon enough.
8. Pride Source/Between The Lines News, August 12, 2010
11920 Farmington Road, Livonia, Michigan 48150
Openly gay former Ford CFO to head WSU
By BTL Staff
The Wayne State University Board of Governors has unanimously elected former Ford Motor Company executive Allan Gilmour as the school's interim president.
Gilmour spent nearly 35 years with Ford, retiring as vice chairman and CFO in 1995. He rejoined Ford in 2002 as CFO before permanently retiring in 2005. Gilmour publicly announced that he is gay in an exclusive Between The Lines interview just after he first retired in 1995, making him the highest ranking corporate leader in America to come out publicly. Since then, he has become a leader and major funder of Michigan's LGBT community.
Gilmour was one of the first donors and organizers of the HOPE Fund at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, now one of the state's largest funders of LGBT projects. He and his partner Eric Jirgens co-chaired the Affirmations Capital Campaign that raised $5.3 million for the new center in downtown Ferndale.
Former WSU President Jay Noren announced his resignation July 20, effective Aug. 6, after two years in office. His decision, Noren said, was so that he can be closer to his wife, Sheri, a provost at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. Phyllis Vroom, dean of WSU's School of Social Work and acting provost, was appointed acting president until an interim president could be named.
WSU Board Chairman Richard Bernstein called Gilmour the right person "at the right time, in the right place" to lead the university through its transition period.
Gilmour continues to serve as a director on various community and corporate boards, including DTE Energy, the Community Foundation, Henry Ford Health System and Dow Chemical.
9. Pride Source/Between The Lines News, August 12, 2010
11920 Farmington Road, Livonia, Michigan 48150
EMU defends counseling student's dismissal
By Lucy Hough
Eastern Michigan University is known for being accepting of LGBT students and staff alike. It has a vibrant and prominent gay student population, sweeping non-discrimination policies and an LGBT Resource Center. Recently, higher education watchdog group Campus Pride awarded EMU 4.5 out of 5 stars on its LGBT-friendly Campus Climate Index, noting it as a "premier campus" for gay students to attend.
But in the case of graduate counseling student Julea Ward, who was dismissed from her program for refusing to counsel a gay student, the debate has risen as to whether the school has taken their pro-gay policies too far, or if their actions were justified.
Last year, Ward sued Eastern Michigan University for dismissing her after she referred a homosexual client to another counselor during practicum because, due to her Christian beliefs, she could not affirm that client's relationship.
However, a federal judge ruled July 26 that EMU did nothing wrong by dismissing Ward, who the school said did not meet the program's expectations.
Julea Ward's story
In January 2009, Ward referred a client seeking help for depression to another counselor before ever meeting with him, because she saw within the client's file that he had previously come in for help with a relationship he had with another male. Due to her actions, Ward's supervisor arranged an informal review, during which Ward was given three options: complete a remediation program, voluntarily leave the counseling program, or request a formal hearing. Ward requested a formal hearing.
A remediation program was a way for Ward to be trained on how to work with clients with different viewpoints and values.
Ward's counsel, the Alliance Defense Fund, which represents religious cases throughout the country, refused Between The Lines' request for an interview. However, in a press release they stated their belief that, "(The remediation plan's) purpose was to help her 'see the error of her ways' and change her 'belief system' as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships."
David Kaplan, chief professional officer for the American Counseling Association - the organization that provides the Code of Ethics to which Eastern's program follows - disagreed that Eastern had any intention to change Ward's beliefs, but instead handled the situation appropriately by allowing her an opportunity to be trained.
"Learning to counsel clients who have different values than you do is very difficult, it's a learned skill and it takes practice," Kaplan said. "So when a student has difficulty with that, as with any of the other skills in counseling ... you work out a remediation plan."
Instead, the formal hearing took place on March 10, 2009. A board of professors and a student representative heard Ward's perspective on the situation and asked her about other case scenarios, including how she would handle a student considering abortion or a student who is a different religion. There is some discussion that the questions asked were too intrusive, but the judge ruled that though it may have been "indelicate," the board "never demonstrated a purpose to change her religious beliefs."
On March 12, a letter was sent to Ward informing her that the board decided to dismiss her from the counseling program. The letter stated, "It was the unanimous opinion of the committee that clear and convincing evidence was presented that, by your behavior, you have violated the ACA Code of Ethics."
Ward filed her complaint to the courts on April 2 of last year. In it, the ADF maintains that by dismissing her, the school implied that she needs to change her religious beliefs, engaged in "viewpoint discrimination" and also participated in illegal "speech codes" which are rules or regulations that limit speech in some way.
Acting as gatekeepers
After Judge George Caram Steeh issued his ruling on July 26 of this year, the ADF retorted in a press release that they will appeal as high as the case needs to go.
EMU and the ACA maintain that the university made the most responsible decision in dismissing Ward.
"(The ruling) is recognition that she was dismissed from the program for failing to meet curriculum requirements - nothing more and nothing less," said Walter Kraft, vice president of communications at EMU. "This case has never been about religious values or sexual orientation; this case is about what's in the best interest of the client."
"One of the things that we talk about ... is that training programs act as gatekeepers. And the gate-keeping function is a very difficult function to do, but (it) is making an assessment as to whether this person will maintain the standards of the profession and do a good job," Kaplan said. "And if, for whatever reason, a student is not able or willing to uphold the standards and learn the skills to the requisite level, the program has an obligation to gate-keep them out of the profession because it's in the best interest of the client."
Kaplan said that one of the ACA's tenants is that the client is more important than the counselor. He acknowledged that those in training to be counselors are important, but ultimately it is the client that both the counselor and the greater professional body are working for. With this in mind, he insisted that it's incredibly important that counselors set aside their personal beliefs to provide a better environment for the client.
"Your personal beliefs are set aside to help your clients," Kaplan said. "In other words, ... you don't have to believe that homosexuality is appropriate, you just have to be able to work with a homosexual client."
Both the ACA and EMU hope that when the case is appealed, a future judge will rule similarly because of what it inevitably applies for both of their educational standards.
"What many of us are hoping is that this court case affirms the ACA's Code of Ethics, it affirms the non-discrimination clause of the Code of Ethics," Kaplan said. "It affirms that programs can support multiculturalism and diversity so it supports everything we're doing and it prevents people from wanting to discriminate against clients with certain characteristics."
For Perry Francis, a professor of counseling at Eastern in charge of counseling in the clinic and a member of the formal review board, he hates to see something like this happen but understands its importance.
"I feel as if it is a tough situation for everyone. I'm sorry that Julea Ward finds herself in this situation," Francis said. "It has distracted a lot of people, but at the same time, it is a very important principle."
10. Morning Sentinel, August 12, 2010
One City Center, 5th Floor, Portland, ME 04101
UMF chief helps found gay college leaders' group
By Leslie Bridgers
FARMINGTON -- Theodora Kalikow was upfront about being gay from the time she was hired as the president of the University of Maine at Farmington.
She said she doesn't remember exactly what she told the chancellor at the time -- it was 17 years ago -- but she remembers the gist of it.
"Just in case you might be confused about this, I'm a lesbian," Kalikow said she told him. "I think people pretty much knew what they were getting into."
Kalikow was one of nine openly gay college presidents who met in Chicago last weekend and formed a new group called LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education. The acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.
Raymond Crossman, president of the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago and a co-host of the meeting, said there were only a few other openly gay presidents in higher education that he knew of until a couple of years ago.
Through hallway conversations at national education conferences, that number grew until it reached a critical mass, Crossman said Monday.
"We decided it was time to meet," he said.
Kalikow, who writes a monthly column for the Morning Sentinel and Kennnebec Journal, helped organize the meeting, along with Crossman, Neal King of Antioch University in Los Angeles and Charles Middleton of Roosevelt University in Chicago, the other co-host.
"We thought we had some particular issues as presidents that nobody else was addressing," Kalikow said Wednesday.
Twenty-five presidents were invited, Crossman said, and the nine who attended -- five with their partners -- came from all around the country, including Colorado, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Crossman said the purpose of holding the meeting and forming the group was both to address the unique challenges that face openly gay presidents and their partners and to raise aspirations among gay educators so that more of them take on leadership roles.
"We can't afford to lose that key talent," Crossman said.
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender English professor at Colby College in Waterville, praised the initiative Wednesday.
"It is hard for others to understand the unique pressures that gay, lesbian and trans teachers and administrators face; and the idea of raising our aspirations is particularly spot-on," said Boylan. "Too often, our aspirations are limited to simply being able to do our work without harassment or shame. No one's dream should consist of merely getting by."
Kalikow imagines that, among the some 4,400 colleges and universities in the nation, there must be more than 25 gay presidents. The group just doesn't know who they are, she said.
As word spreads, she hopes more presidents will come forward and join the group.
As president in Farmington, Kalikow said she hasn't encountered discrimination because of her sexual orientation, and that's part of the reason she chose to work at the university.
"Farmington has been a welcoming campus committed to social justice long before I got here," she said.
Kalikow said that atmosphere has helped her be an effective president, something she believes could have been more difficult in other places.
It's also made it easier for her partner of 10 years, Deb Kalikow-Pluck, to be as involved in events at the school as she wants to be -- to "go to ceremonial dinners and eat chicken," Kalikow joked.
Kalikow said she paid for her and her partner to fly to Chicago and attend the meeting to avoid any criticism the expense might have garnered, had it been covered by the college. Someday, she hopes, similiar professional development opportunities will be covered by colleges and universities without question.
"There's been a lot of progress. There's going to be more," she said.
Since the weekend, Kalikow said she's already received several e-mails from gay educators excited about the group and interested in getting involved. Some said they hope to be presidents one day.
"I think it's a good opportunity for mentoring the next generation of leaders," Kalikow said.
Crossman said the group will meet again in March, coinciding with American Council on Education's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Leslie Bridgers -- 861-9252
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