LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education
Why does queer leadership matter? In this book, the first of its kind, 15 LGBTQ presidents and chancellors in higher education provide insight into their experiences and highlight the importance of queer leadership for the academy and the world.
Prior to this century, there were few known gay or lesbian presidents in North American higher education. Mary Emma Wooley, president of Mount Holyoke College from 1901 to 1937, is documented because her life on campus with her partner, Jeanette Marks, is described in their love letters, which have been recently curated. Jacquelyn A. Mattfeld, president of Barnard College from 1976 to 1980, rarely receives recognition for braving sexism, heterosexism, and homophobia during her presidency. Theodora J. Kalikow, president of University of Maine Farmington from 1994 to 2012, bridges the few early examples to the era of contributors to this volume.
In LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education, Raymond Crossman brings together 15 currently serving or retired LGBTQ presidents and chancellors in higher education to explain why, to whom, and how LGBTQ leadership matters. Writing from the perspective of their lived and specific experiences as LGBTQ presidents, these current and former leaders consider whether there is something distinctive about LGBTQ leadership. They also attempt to draw insights and principles from their personal stories. In addition, the book considers a profound question: Is being queer a superpower for these leaders, something they manage as part of their intersectional identities, or is it just another attribute of accomplished leaders?
In essays ranging across 12 topics, including intersectionality, mentorship, feminism, self-care, coming out, heteronormativity, and partners and spouses, the authors address why LGBTQ leadership matters at this moment, and more broadly, why diversity, inclusion, and equity in leadership are important to meet today's challenges for higher education and human rights. The first book on this topic, LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education simultaneously archives a moment that is the forerunner to new, enormous, and necessary evolutions in the practice of leadership.
Contributors: Terry L. Allison, Peggy Apple, Nancy "Rusty" Barceló, Raymond E. Crossman, Erika Endrijonas, James Gandre, Richard J. Helldobler, Susan E. Henking, Ralph J. Hexter, Theodora J. Kalikow, Daniel López, Jr., Charles R. Middleton, DeRionne Pollard, Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, Regina Stanback Stroud, Boris Thomas, Karen M. Whitney
About the Author
Raymond E. Crossman (CHICAGO, IL) is a social justice activist, educator, and psychologist who is currently the longest-serving LGBTQ university president in North America. He was appointed president of Adler University in 2003.
"This is a book whose time has come. Once there were only a handful of openly LGBTQ college and university presidents. Now that numbers have grown and continue to grow, it is important to learn from one another's stories and to share them more broadly. This collection offers wisdom and solidarity. Pass it along."
"LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education offers provocative and thoughtful reflections on what it means to be a gay leader in higher education, how position intersects with identity to create both challenges and opportunities. It's an authentic and moving book."
"This is a moving and timely anthology that lets us understand both the personal struggles and political visions of LGBTQ presidents of diverse colleges and universities. This collection insists that LGBTQ presidents enjoy privilege and bear responsibility toward a community whose lives are often marginalized and imperiled. The reflections here document their continuing commitment to support LGBTQ communities who have every right to flourish without fear of discrimination and violence."
"Through testimonials told directly from the experience and perspective of out LGBTQ presidents, Raymond Crossman's LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education chronicles the reality of the proverbial glass ceiling for out LGBTQ leaders, whose numbers are still astonishingly small because of homophobia and the traditionally heteronormative cultural and social framing that surrounds university presidencies. This book should be required reading not only for aspiring LGBTQ leaders but also for boards of trustees who are ultimately in the best position to effect change in the American college and university presidency."
"This is an important book by and about the remarkable group of pioneering LGBTQ presidents who are among the first generation to rise to the top leadership position in institutions of higher education. Their stories, personally recounted here, also draw lessons about the unique leadership qualities they collectively and individually brought to bear in the increasingly challenging world of the twenty-first century."
"With reports of university leadership mired in (hetero)sexual harassment and unequal (hetero)sexual relationships appearing regularly in the news, we must listen to these presidents and chancellors who narrate how queer and feminist leadership will lead the way to more equitable and just institutions. Required reading for anyone seeking to realize their own academic leadership, whether as a department chair, dean, or chancellor."
"This book documents the important changes that have occurred in who is considered for the presidency—and the greater talent pool and diverse perspectives this affords American higher education. These LGBTQ presidents' individual stories are moving, humorous, sometimes distressing, and always inspirational. Although the institutions they lead and their own career trajectories vary widely, these presidents share a commitment to equity and access informed by their own life experiences."
"Centering LGBTQ+ diverse intersectional experiences and narrative histories (including ongoing challenges/opportunities), these authors candidly explore distinct leadership journeys that invoke relevant considerations for current, emerging, and future leaders across higher education and beyond."
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