University of California President Janet Napolitano announced today (June 3) that she will appoint a President’s Advisory Group on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues to advise her on how best to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for LGBT students, faculty and staff across the UC system.
The UC Task Force and Implementation Team on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Climate & Inclusion, a systemwide task force that has been meeting for two years and has just concluded its work, presented its recommendations Friday to Napolitano. The task force made eight recommendations, ranging from collecting data to increasing cultural competency training, along with its call for a permanent, systemwide group to advise the president on LGBT issues and advance the well-being of LGBT students, faculty and staff.
“The task force recommendations are a concrete next step to advance UC’s efforts to create more welcoming and inclusive campus environments for members of the LGBT community,” said co-chair Barbara J. French, UC San Francisco vice chancellor of strategic communications and university relations.
The task force was convened in May 2012 as part of efforts to enhance campus climate. The task force includes representatives from the 10 UC campuses, the UC Office of the President and the community. Campus participants include undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff and LGBT resource center directors.
“The task force definitely feels we were heard,” said co-chair Ralph J. Hexter, UC Davis provost and executive vice chancellor. “The university is showing its commitment to being a leader in LGBT issues.”
The task force recommendations include:
- Allowing voluntary collection of data on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression for students, faculty and staff.
- Adjusting student record systems to enable students to self-identify with a preferred name.
- Developing and implementing a systemwide gender-inclusive restroom policy.
- Convening a subcommittee on bisexual community issues.
- Establishing an LGBT resource center at UC Merced and having each campus dedicate funding for an LGBT cultural competency specialist who provides awareness training to students, faculty and staff.
- Having each campus dedicate funding and infrastructure to support hiring a full-time counselor to provide psychological, education and prevention services to LGBT students.
- Enhancing academic initiatives on gender and sexuality.
- Implementing a tax equalization program for employees in domestic partnerships who receive health benefits through UC’s health and wellness plans.
Napolitano will review the recommendations and respond at a future date.