This working group was convened by LSA Dean Anne Curzan to review the reports and recommendations of five groups previously convened to improve climate in LSA from an LGBTQ+ perspective with the goal of ensuring that all actions of the college are taken with anintersectional approach and to evaluate where there may be additional work to be done beyond the existing recommendations from these previous groups. Our group’s members were chosenfrom a list of volunteers (rather than a pre-selected set of experts) and included faculty tenure-track and one LEO Lecturer), staff, and a graduate student. We were tasked with assessing the climate for LGBTQ+ people in LSA based on our lived experience in the college rather than because our scholarship or work experience directly relates to LGBTQ+ issues. Though our recommendations are intended to benefit the entire LSA community, our primary focus was on the experience of faculty, staff, and graduate students. This reflects the composition of our committee, the fact that the undergraduate experience can be fundamentally different than that of faculty, staff, and graduate students, and an awareness that undergraduates are currently being well-served by U-M’s Spectrum Center.
Our group undertook its work at a complex and difficult time in the history of LGBTQ+ people in which, after marked improvements over the last twenty years in experiences and opportunities, there has recently been a visible, concerted, and coordinated backlash against these advances, with trans people often the target of these efforts. We therefore see Dean Curzan’s convening of this working group as a welcome first step in reinvigorating a long tradition within the College of LSA and the University of Michigan more broadly of being leaders in supporting and celebratingstudents, faculty, and staff who identify as LGBTQ+.
Working Group Members
Daniele Bracale, Graduate Student, Statistics
Jimmy Draper, Lecturer III, Communication and Media
Nicholas Henriksen, Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures and
Sean Johnson, Assistant Professor & LSA Collegiate Fellow, Astronomy
Courtney Kliss (administrative support), DEI Administrative and Project Coordinator, LSA
Angelo Pitillo (co-chair), Director, English Language Institute
Robin Queen (co-chair), Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Linguistics, German, and English
Robert Stonik, BlueCorps Advisor, LSA Technology Services
Yun Zhou, Assistant Professor, Sociology