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Out for Good

The view from under South Hill, as interpreted by Luca

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Posted by Luca Maurer at 2:14PM   |  1 comment

I refer students to Career Services all the time - it's a great place to explore options, consider goals, and tap in to great resources.  Students frequently come to chat with me about all sorts of career goals they have - teacher, police officer, social worker, researcher, legislator, artist, veterinarian, entrepreneur, foreign service officer, health care provider, lawyer, scientist, and every once in awhile LGBT-specific jobs, too. 

Over the years I have heard just about all of them...except one.  College president.  I realized today that never has a student described their intended career track as toward the eventual goal of becoming president of an institution of higher education.  Sure, students have mentioned college presidents, wondered about them, pondered their many roles and responsibilities, admired them, and sometimes criticized them, but not a single student I know has ever shared that they aspire to become one. 

Maybe that will all change someday soon.  There are out gay and lesbian college presidents.  Not very many...but they do exist.  Twenty one, to be exact.  And in August they'll meet together for the first time to identify common issues, opportunities and challenges, and barriers that can make it difficult for LGBT people to ascend to that upper level of higher education.  

The meeting will take place in Chicago - home to three current out gay college presidents.  Thinking about the possibility of one day becoming the L, G, B, or T president of a college or university?  You'll be in good company.  Read a bit about some of the current ones:

  • Raynard Kington, incoming president of Grinnell College
  • Ralph Hexter, Hampshire College
  • Charles Middleton, Roosevelt University
  • Carolyn Biddy Martin, University of Wisconsin at Madison (and formerly our neighbor when she served as provost of Cornell University)
  • and see Dr. Kington accepting his new post, and in the process introduce his partner and young children

1 Comment

I am so sorry to read that no student has ever told Lis they want to become a college president! It is an honorable profession, mostly, and one in which you can fell you are making a difference. I would like to invite the first student who tells Lis they want to be a college president to spend a day shadowing me. Hopefully, what you see will not change your mind!

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