UC President Mark G. Yudof has named a task force to examine and implement strategies for creating more welcoming and inclusive campus environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, faculty and staff.

Barbara French, UCSF vice chancellor for strategic communications and university relations, and Ralph Hexter, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor, are co-chairing the task force.

"I am confident that together we will do all we can to make our campuses more welcoming and inclusive environments for LGBT students, faculty and staff, as well as for all communities at UC," Yudof said in a May 21 letter to French and Hexter.

The formation of the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on LGBT Climate and Inclusion is among the recommendations from a working group of the President's Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion.

The task force is charged with developing strategies to enact the working group's recommendations, which include:

  • Providing LGBT cultural competency training for students and staff who have student-related responsibilities.
  • Creating a systemwide advisory group on LGBT climate and other issues.
  • Having campus diversity councils review programs at their locations to assess whether there is appropriate inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity.

One recommendation that already has been enacted is a UC statement on sexual orientation and gender identity inclusion. Yudof and the advisory council have endorsed the following as a guiding principle for UC:

The President's Advisory Council recognizes that sexual orientation and gender identity are important components of the university's overall diversity goals and efforts. Campus diversity initiatives and programs should make every effort to include sexual orientation and gender identity as well as others areas of difference recognized in the University of California Diversity Statement.

LGBT students have been identified as a high-risk group for mental health concerns. The UC Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES), which provides the only systemwide data on sexual orientation and gender identity, found that LGBT students had mental health needs that could be addressed by fostering a more inclusive environment.

The survey found that 39 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer respondents felt that their sexual orientation was respected on their campuses, compared with 82 percent of heterosexuals.

In addition, 34 percent of LGBQ undergraduates said feelings of depression or stress had often or very often been obstacles to schoolwork or academic success, compared to 22 percent of heterosexual respondents.

The task force holds its first meeting in July and is expected to deliver its recommendations within the next 24 months.

UC LGBT Task Force

Chairs

Barbara French
Vice chancellor, strategic communications and university relations, UCSF

Ralph Hexter
Provost and executive vice chancellor, UC Davis

Members

Robert Anderson
2011-12 chair, UC Academic Senate
Professor of economics and of mathematics, UC Berkeley
Adviser, President's Council on Campus Climate Members

Beth Schneider
Professor of sociology, UC Santa Barbara
Affiliated faculty of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara
Adviser, President's Council on Campus Climate Members

Shannon Minter
Legal director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Adviser, President's Council on Campus Climate Members

Sheri Atkinson
Director, LGBT Resource Center, UC Davis

Raja Bhattar
Director, LGBT Resource Center, UCLA

Juana María Rodríguez
Professor, women's studies, UC Berkeley

Toi Thibodeaux, Program Coordinator
LGBT Resource Center, UC Riverside

Faith Cheltenham
President, BiNet USA

Herbie Lee
Vice Provost, Academic Affairs and Campus Diversity Officer for Faculty
Professor of applied math and statistics, UC Santa Cruz

Theresa Sparks
Executive director, San Francisco Human Rights Commission

Bradley Sears
Executive director, The Williams Institute
Adjunct professor, UCLA School of Law

Damion Harriman
Undergraduate student, UC Merced

Mallory Sepler-King
Law student, UC Irvine

Rodolfo John Alaniz
Doctoral student, UC San Diego

Ex-Officio Members

UC Vice President Dwaine Duckett or designate
UC Vice President Judy Sakaki or designate
UC Vice Provost Susan Carlson or designate
UC Interim Diversity Coordinator Jesse Bernal

Administrative Support

Dan Beaman, executive assistant, UC President's Executive Office