- Spelman College officials last week announced plans to convene a task force to potentially lead to the admission of transgender students to the institution.
- The announcement is the latest clash of considerations for colleges nationwide on the scope of LGBTQIA admissions and protection efforts. In California, legislators are preparing for intense debate of SB1146, which seeks to create a public listing of colleges which claim exemption from non-discriminatory education policies on the basis of religion, and potentially allow for litigation against the policies.
- Several other women's colleges — including Barnard College, Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke and Bryn Mawr — already admit transgender students.
System and institution leaders considering policy changes for transgender students are likely to face political and inter-campus controversy, which can impact admissions, alumni relations, philanthropy and legislative lobbying. But the most pressing consideration any college leader must entertain is the notion of long-term impact to a campus in the name of short-term preservation of ideals.
The fight over North Carolina's HB2 bill has left University of North Carolina institutions caught between obeying the state law and risking the loss of federal funding. Failing to initiate policies that address policies that potentialy discriminate on the basis of sex could prove a costly move for institutions already facing shortfalls from state and federal appropriations.