AACRAO's response to roll back of federal protections for transgender students

The Trump administration this week rescinded Obama-era guidance to protect transgender students, reported The Washington Post.

"The Trump Administration clearly missed an opportunity to provide leadership on an important issue facing our country when it decided to rescind the Department of Education's guidance aimed at protecting transgender students," wrote AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly. (Read his full response here). "Since the federal government has chosen to abandon its role in protecting transgender student rights, it is clear that the higher education community and associations such as AACRAO need to fill this leadership void and reaffirm our commitment to civil rights and inclusion."

In the fall of 2016, AACRAO established the Student Identity Work Group to develop guidance for AACRAO members and their institutions on serving transgender students and students who wish to update their gender marker, change their legal name, use a preferred name, or designate a pronoun. 

“This change in direction from the Department of Education and the Justice Department, clearly changes the strategy for the workgroup, for AACRAO, and for AACRAO member institutions," said Jack Miner, University Registrar at Ohio State University. "Until recently, the focus was on developing best practices to adapt to the DOE guidance and to best serve transgender students.  This puts the burden back on the higher education community to lead by example by developing practices and guidelines that create a welcoming environment with the hope that the administration follows our lead.”

For more conversations on inclusivity, diversity, and related professional core competencies, attend the AACRAO Annual Meeting in April.