Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Faculty Involvement
Diversity Digest Volume 10, Number 2

Diversity Digest
Volume 10,
Number 2
(2007)

Download our print issue (PDF)
Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity and Learning: “A Defining Moment”
Institutional Diversity in a New Nation: Lessons Lived, Lessons Learned
The Pedagogy of Sentipensante: Recasting Institutional Core Agreements
Transforming Our Institutions for the Twenty-first Century: The Role of the Chief Diversity Officer
Creating Institutional Transformation Using the Equity Scorecard
Curricular Transformation
Service Learning, Multicultural Education, and the Core Curriculum:
A Model for Institutional Change
Drop It Like It’s Hot! Hip-Hop in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom
A Sustainable Campus-Wide Program for Diversity Curriculum Infusion
Campus-Community Involvement
El Camino Real: Where Culture and Academia Meet
Faculty Involvement
Advancing Diversity through a Framework of Intersectionality: Inclusion of LGBT Issues in Higher Education
Transitioning on Campus: Creating a Welcoming Climate for Transgender People
Complicating Diversity Categories: Jewish Identity in the Classroom
Student Experience
Dealing with Student Resistance: Sources and Strategies
Beyond Tourism: Race, Space, and National Identity in London
Research
Graduate and Professional Degree Attainment for Students of Color
Affordability of Postsecondary Education for Students of Color
Resources
Diversity and Learning Resources

Transitioning On Campus: Creating a Welcoming Climate for Transgender People

By Michael R. Stevenson, associate provost and professor of psychology; Paul Wagoner, a senior majoring in political science; and Leslie Morrow, interim coordinator of GLBT issues—all at Miami University (Ohio)

Campus leaders often face uncharted territory when informed by a staff member or student of the intent to transition to the other gender. Transgender people encounter a difficult environment on most college campuses. They confront internal physical and emotional battles and a society that fails to understand and provide for their unique needs.

At Miami University, a small group of individuals has developed guidelines to support those who decide transgender transition is an appropriate course of action. Created with the leadership of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Services and the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, a discussion document like these guidelines can be a point of departure, especially if the campus nondiscrimination policy does not yet include gender identity or gender expression. To date, our document has been reviewed by the LGBT advisory group, the university’s general counsel, and a variety of other interested parties. The process we have initiated is gradually educating the university community and building a cadre of supportive faculty and staff.

Below are some resources for advocates and practitioners at other campuses wishing to begin a similar initiative.

The importance of a common vocabulary cannot be overstated. Miami’s discussion draft begins with an explicit articulation of concepts, following an approach suggested by the Human Rights Campaign (see www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Transgender_Issues1).

The American Psychological Association (APA) has recently released two informative brochures that are available online. Produced by APA’s Task Force on Gender Identity, Gender Variance, and Intersex Conditions, the first answers basic questions about transgender individuals and gender identity (www.apa.org/topics/transgender.html), whereas the second focuses on individuals with intersex conditions (www.apa.org/topics/intersx.html).

The Harry S. Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association has developed standards of care for transgender individuals (www.symposion.com/ijt/ soc_2001/index.htm). Although informative for mental health practitioners, it is important to note that they are not unanimously embraced by transgender communities.

Questions, comments, and suggested resources should be directed to campbell@aacu.org.
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