Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

Gender Equity Research at UD Colloquium


Over the course of the academic year 2019-2020, under the sponsorship of the Women’s Center and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and with the support of the Provost’s office through a Gender Equity Research Fellowship, Dr. Darden Bradshaw engaged in a yearlong qualitative study examining policies, practices and perceptions of equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBT*Q+) faculty and staff on the University of Dayton campus.

The study participants included 35 self-identified LGBT*Q+ faculty and staff members from the University community who participated in one-on-one interviews, focus group sessions or both as well as 13 senior administrators who participated in one-on-one interviews. Benchmarking of UD’s 25 peer institutions policies that support equity was also undertaken. Data analysis was emergent and interpretivist, bringing together the participants voices to portray the multi-faceted experience of being LGBT*Q+ on a Catholic, Marianist campus.

Findings indicate that definitions of equity are not universal and thereby necessarily impact one’s perceptions of equity for LGBT*Q+ employees on campus. Regardless of one’s definition of equity, the lived experience of LGBTQ+ persons on a Catholic Marianist campus can be characterized as filled with tension, invisibility, and persistent marginalization. This invisibility and marginalization may be greater for those individuals who identify as trans* or bisexual and is facilitated by the acceptance of a heteronormative cisgender lens. Out of the University of Dayton’s Marianist charism and Catholic foundation, spaces designed to foster inclusion are experienced by LGBT*Q+ persons as not fully welcoming. Admittedly there have been significant and welcome changes in the last four years, but we have far to go to achieve equity and current diversity efforts are not diverse enough. LGBTQ+ faculty and staff seek action as well as statements of support and point to the fatigue as microaggressions and overt aggressions persist. Furthermore, while policies are designed to foster equity and changes to University policies have occurred to increase equity it is practices, often applied across the campus in unequitable ways, that appear to create the greatest disparity.


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Women's Studies


View the author's full paper in eCommons.

About the Gender Equity Research Fellowship: Each year, the Women's Center, the Women's and Gender Studies Program, and the Provost's Office sponsor two Gender Equity Research Fellows of any gender and from any disciplinary background who work to advance gender equity and social justice through the conduct of high-quality research and the development of subsequent recommendations to share with the campus community.

Each fellow works alongside an undergraduate student research assistant over the academic year to complete their projects. The 2019-20 fellows presented their work and recommendations to the campus community at the Gender Equity Research at UD Colloquium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020.