A new group representing openly gay
university and college presidents formed over the weekend in Chicago.
Nine presidents joined to form the
group LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education. Twenty-five known
leaders were invited, the
online journal Inside Higher Ed reported.
The effort is being spearhead by
Raymond E. Crossman, president of the Adler School of Professional
Psychology, and Charles R. Middleton, president of Roosevelt
University, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The group says it wants to help promote
more gay academics to positions of leadership and advocate on behalf
of gay-related issues.
Ralph Hexter married his partner of 30
years, Manfred Kollmeier, in 2007, after two years at the helm of
Hampshire College in Massachusetts, the first state to allow gay and
lesbian couples to marry five years ago.
“One of the hallmarks of our group is
that we are out LGBT, and we all know there are many others who for
whatever reasons – their regions, their personal situations, their
institutions – are not out,” Hexter said. “This is not an
organization that will push anyone out of the closet, but maybe more
people will look at us and say, 'Hey, these people are OK.'”
“I think you are going to see a lot
more [gay college presidents] in the next five years,” he added.