24 October 2023 MaKinster Authors on Gender-Diverse Leadership in Higher Ed
Senior Associate Provost and Professor of Educational Studies Jamie MaKinster is the author of a Chronicle of Higher Education article about the opportunities and challenges of being gender-diverse in leadership positions in higher education.
Titled, “Life as an Administrator Who Happens to be Transgender,” Senior Associate Provost and Professor of Educational Studies Jamie Makinster’s article in the Chronicle of Higher Education published on Oct. 5 shares insights from her career in higher education administration as a gender-diverse person with the purpose of helping institutions develop practices and policies that are more inclusive and equitable.
Through stories about her work in the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs, where her projects have spanned revising the Colleges’ Strategic Diversity Plan to spearheading the Task Force on Gender Inclusiveness for Data Management, MaKinster shares how her position has allowed her to make a direct impact on the lived experiences of gender-diverse students. She also discusses the personal and mental challenges of taking on a public-facing role.
“I share my experiences here in the hope of fostering greater respect, understanding, and support for every gender- diverse person who chooses to pursue or step into an administrative role,” MaKinster writes.
An excerpt from the article is shared below.
Life As an Administrator Who Happens to Be Transgender
A look at the opportunities and challenges of being gender-diverse in leadership positions in higher education.
I proclaimed my identity as a transgender woman in October 2020. Not surprisingly, that involved a considerable amount of anxiety even though I was a tenured professor who is white, nondisabled, and financially secure. Since then, I’ve lived as my authentic self at a small liberal- arts college that I find to be an overall supportive environment. Things became more complicated in the summer of 2021, when my professional identity changed after I was appointed as an associate provost in our office of academic affairs.
My day-to-day and year-to-year experience in administration has led to both opportunities and challenges that are likely shared by many of my queer and gender- diverse peers at other institutions.
In the 2022 book LGBTQ: Leadership in Higher Education, Raymond E. Crossman notes that, in 2002, only a single U.S. college had an openly gay or lesbian president. Today there are hundreds, both former and current. However, at the moment in American higher education, there appear to be no openly transgender or nonbinary college presidents. This is a reflection of our time and culture.
As a midlevel administrator at a residential college who is transgender, I understand why the glass ceiling remains for those of us who are gender diverse. I share my experiences here in the hope of fostering greater respect, understanding, and support for every gender- diverse person who chooses to pursue or step into an administrative role.
First, the opportunities...
Read the full article here.