Monday, June 02, 2008

Univ. of Wisconsin to be Headed by Lesbian

Advocates envision trend of homosexuals leading educational institutions

-- From "UW-Madison poised to name openly gay chancellor" by Ryan J. Foley, AP, posted at FOX News 5/30/08

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison is set to become the biggest university with an openly gay leader, according to gay rights advocates who hail the appointment as a milestone for the movement.

Cornell University Provost Biddy Martin was recommended Wednesday to be the next chancellor at UW-Madison, a top national research university with 40,000 students.

Martin, the No. 2 official at Cornell since 2000, is a professor of women's studies and German studies and author of the 1995 book "Femininity Played Straight: The Significance of Being Lesbian."

About eight to 10 openly gay people have become college presidents and chancellors but mostly at small colleges, said Candace Gingrich of the Human Rights Campaign.

"None the size of UW-Madison," she said in a phone interview. "It is a big milestone, and it's part of the progress that we're seeing at the college and university levels. When you've got more and more openly gay faculty members and openly gay administrators, there are bound to be those who want to aspire to presidencies and chancellorships."

"They have been trailblazers in showing to the public that sexual orientation has little to nothing to do with their ability to do their job, although it definitely shapes their world view just like any other identity," [said Amit Taneja, co-chairman of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals.]

Students at the LGBT campus center erupted in cheers when they learned Martin got the job.

She was the only one of four finalists who stopped there to chat during her campus visit, said Eric Trekell, its director.

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