Engineering Deans' Support For LGBTQ Inclusion

Document Type

Conference Paper

Version Deposited

None (link only)

Publication Date

June 2016

Conference Name

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Over the last several years, scholars have started to investigate processes of disadvantage and exclusion faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) faculty, students and professionals in engineering. Although this research is only beginning to document the contours of these issues, it suggests that successful social change in engineering requires that equality and inclusion be advanced through multiple fronts in engineering education, including the policies and perspectives of engineering administrators and leaders. In this paper, we draw on survey data (currently being collected) from over 40 deans and Program Directors of U.S. Engineering and Engineering Technology colleges and programs to understand their views on LGBTQ-inclusive practices and policies. In particular, our paper describes (1) deans’ assessment of the climate in their college for LGBTQ students and faculty, (2) deans’ personal support for LGBTQ equality and inclusion measures (e.g. faculty-wide Safe Zone training, hiring initiatives, inclusion of LGBTQ status in non-discrimination statements in job advertisements) and (3) deans’ perception of support among their faculty and students for LGBTQ inclusion measures. These findings provide important insights into the cultural and policy landscapes in engineering education for LGBTQ individuals and the (un)supportiveness of this key group of stakeholders of the promotion of LGBTQ equality.


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