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Leadership Studies Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2018

Sociology

Bellarmine University

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Full-Text Articles in Leadership Studies

Experiences Explored Through The Prism: Out Gay And Lesbian Pathways To University Presidency, Patrick Englert Jun 2018

Experiences Explored Through The Prism: Out Gay And Lesbian Pathways To University Presidency, Patrick Englert

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Capstones

The profile of university presidents has changed very little in the past twenty-five years, with the majority being white males (Kim & Cook, 2013). The presence of the ‘lavender ceiling’ (Friskopp & Silverstein, 1995) in higher education is evidenced in there being less than one percent of university presidents who openly identify as lesbian and gay (L&G) (Rivard, 2014). Colleges and universities continue to be largely heteronormative and struggle to create safe, supportive, and just campuses; mirroring instead the bias and microaggressions that occur outside the insulated walls of academia (Bazarsky, Morrow, & Javier, 2015; Vaccaro, 2012).

This multi-case qualitative study explored the lived experiences of nine out L&G presidents in higher education via two research questions: 1) What are the experiences of out L&G University Presidents within Higher Education? 2) How does being an out practitioner impact pathways to presidency? Using queer theory as a lens, the study builds upon queer research with one central theme; committing to being out in higher education. Committing to being out in Higher Education acted as a catalyst and resulted in four themes related to research question one: 1) supporting frameworks for being out, 2) experiencing heteronormativity as an entrenched concept, 3) navigating expectations of what it means to ...