236767 An Analysis of Safety, Acceptance, and Professional Development of LGBTQ Faculty at a Large Southeastern University

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jessie A. Barnett, MPH , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jessica L. Muilenburg, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Corey W. Johnson, PhD , Counseling and Human Development Services, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jennifer Miracle , Intercultural Affairs- Department of Campus Life, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
BACKGROUND Studies have shown that a discriminatory or unsafe university environment negatively impact educators identifying as LGBTQ.

PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to describe LGBTQ faculty's perception of the current campus climate regarding safety and acceptance of their identities.

METHODS Participants were recruited through 17 diversity campus listservs, as well as a word of mouth. An online survey was completed by 21 faculty members from 15 different academic areas. Participants identified as Female (52.63%) and Male (47.37%). The majority of respondents were White (80.9%) the average age was 45.1 years.

RESULTS The study discovered that 57.14% reported being verbally harassed, 35.00% experienced prejudice in university social settings, and 28.57% experienced prejudice in the office/workplace due to sexual orientation or gender identity. More than 25% of respondents also experienced prejudice from other faculty members, university administrators, or staff. Qualitative data were analyzed using tenents of grounded theory methodology generating a thematic/categorical analyses. Prominent themes include: fear for career/professional future, anxiety about LGBTQ identity management and repercussions of disclosure in a professional environment, lack of support from university administration, positive awareness of LGBTQ students, and appreciation for a supportive gay community.

CONCLUSIONS These data demonstrated the significant role that a discriminatory environment plays in the professional development, mental health, and personal lives of LGBTQ faculty. Further interventions should assist university administrators and other faculty with inclusive diversity appreciation techniques and development of effective reporting systems and remedying methods for LGBTQ faculty who experience maltreatment.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Diversity and culture
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify the roles that the university administration and workplace environment play in professional development of LGBTQ faculty. 2) Describe challenges that LGBTQ faculty face with regard to personal safety, disclosure of identity, and seeking assistance from higher-ups when maltreated. 3) Discuss ideas for further research and interventions.

Keywords: Education, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a doctoral student in Health Promotion and Behavior and because I conduct and oversee research with LGBTQ student and faculty.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.