Openly Gay Presidents Say 'Chronicle' Article Left Them Out

August 07, 2007

An article in this week’s Chronicle reports that the nation now boasts three openly gay university presidents. In response, several presidents have written to ask: “What about us?”

The article hedged a bit and referred only to “university” presidents. It’s a good thing, as the list of openly gay college presidents has now grown to eight.

One of them is Michael J. Hoyle, who became president of McIntosh College in March. Mr. Hoyle, 42, attended an annual seminar last month for new presidents at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He was one of three openly gay men among the 46 new presidents in attendance.

While standing in line at the seminar, Mr. Hoyle met Neal King, who became president of Antioch University at Los Angeles in May. “We thought about forming a presidents’ council” for gay top executives, Mr. Hoyle says.

Mr. King says the third openly gay president at the conference was Allan R. Cahoon, of Royal Roads University, in British Columbia. But as a Canadian, Mr. Cahoon doesn’t count for The Chronicle’s new and improved list of openly gay and lesbian presidents of American colleges and universities:Sean T. Buffington, University of the Arts Ralph J. Hexter, Hampshire College Michael J. Hoyle, McIntosh College Theodora J. Kalikow, University of Maine at Farmington Neal King, Antioch University at Los Angeles Charles R. Middleton, Roosevelt University Tullise (Toni) A. Murdock, Antioch University James Warwick, American Academy of Dramatic ArtsMr. King helped to compile the list, along with Byron P. McCrae, associate vice president for student affairs at the San Francisco Art Institute. Mr. McCrae studied lesbian and gay college presidents as part of his doctoral residency project at Fordham University. “There is a growing cohort of lesbian and gay leaders who are coming up through the ranks,” he says, “much like women did several years ago by forming peer-support groups.”

The only question is how many other gay presidents The Chronicle left out. —Paul Fain