GLBT student services office becomes university-wide

By Inside IU Bloomington

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

IU’s office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Support Services has moved from the Division of Student Affairs to the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

The move will enable the office to expand beyond the Bloomington campus to provide mentoring and advice to all IU campuses as part of a university-wide office. In addition, the move aligns GLBT Student Support Services with the campus cultural centers, which enjoy a close connection with the IU Alumni Association. IUAA’s GLBTAA Scholarship Campaign is the nation’s first devoted to assisting GLBT and ally students.

IU’s GLBT office originated under former dean of students Dick McKaig nearly 20 years ago with support from then-associate dean of students Pam Freeman and chancellor Ken Gros Louis. Freeman and McKaig initially sought funding for gay students who had lost support from their families, the first step toward creation of the office. The office will celebrate its 20-year birthday in November at its house at 705 E. Seventh St. across from Dunn Meadow.

James Wimbush, vice president for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs, has been at IU since 1991. He remembers when the GLBT center formed and also when former IU President Myles Brand sought to provide health benefits to same-sex domestic partners, a path-breaking move in Indiana at the time.

Wimbush said the GLBT move supports several of his office’s key priorities: recruitment and retention; campus climate; and outreach and advocacy.

The GLBT office will report to Joyce Rogers, vice president for development and external relations for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and senior advisor for strategic development initiatives and to Martin McCrory, associate vice president for development and external relations for diversity, equity and multicultural affairs and vice provost for educational inclusion and diversity.

Related story: IU's GLBT office poised to move into campus office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs