Chief Diversity Officer’s Conflicting Actions

By Lenore Hellman

Gallaudet University’s Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, has been placed on paid administrative leave, according to President Hurwitz’s campus-wide email.  This decision is made after a community member found McCaskill’s alleged signature in a petition to bring a same-sex marriage bill to a public vote in Maryland this November.

On February 17, 2012, the Maryland legislature passed a same-sex marriage bill called the Civil Marriage Protection Act. This comes after a similar same-sex marriage bill failed the previous year. Governor Marvin O’Malley signed the bill into law on March 1, 2012, and it was to take effect on January 1, 2013.

Opponents of the new law mounted a campaign to have the matter go to a referendum in November. The full petition, with 110,000 signatures, was published by the Washington Blade in August.

Dr. Angela McCaskill is the “first deaf African American female” to receive a Ph.D. at Gallaudet University, which is public information found on her Gallaudet faculty page. She now holds the office of Deputy to the President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, a new position to Gallaudet’s executives.

A Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) is often tasked with nurturing diversity inside an educational institution by leading change and working with all types of people. Among the diversity, her job includes the task of welcoming the LGBTQ community into Gallaudet University for a rich diverse group.

Buried in the long petition is Dr. Angela McCaskill’s signature. According to Planet Deaf Queer, a faculty member noticed the signature and met with McCaskill about it. McCaskill “explained that she had done so while at church, after her preacher had preached against gay marriage.” On the way out, she signed the petition after her husband pointed it out.

Dr. Angela McCaskill has long been an advocate for the diverse student population in Gallaudet. These findings of her signature on a petition have caused considerable reaction among students and faculty. Students have planned for a meeting on October 10th; however, the meeting has been postponed to a later date with select student organizations and representatives. In addition, the Diversity and Inclusion advisory board will hold a meeting about these recent events on Thursday, October 11th. 

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6 Responses to “Chief Diversity Officer’s Conflicting Actions”

  1. Shaking My Head
    October 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM #

    This is a country where we are free to agree or not agree without being condemned for our opinions and beliefs. So why should Dr. Angela McCaskill be punished for merely exercising her right to agree or disagree by signing the petition (and we have no way of knowing if the petition actually makes any difference anyway)? And this country is so big, I really doubt if she is so well-known, so powerful that merely signing a petition would cause huge waves around the world (the butterfly effect, you know.)


    People are just too sensitive over such trivial things.

  2. Josh
    October 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM #

    Unpaid leave? Why is this woman still being paid? She should have been terminated immediately.
    Yes, this is a free country and McCaskill is free to be as bigoted as she wants.
    Yes, she is free to think certain minority groups are inferior and not deserving of equal rights, but she is obviously NOT the right person person for the chief diversity officer. Was the issue of gay rights and equality never brought up at her interview? If so, did she truthfully state her belief that gay Americans are not deserving of the same rights as straight people? It seems very odd that someone who actively supports discrimination would be hired as a diversity officer.

  3. Wayne Lela
    October 16, 2012 at 1:07 AM #

    This is regarding the fact that Dr. McGaskill is being discriminatorily “targeted” because she does not believe in so-called homosexual “marriage.”

    You wouldn’t know it based on the incessant “born that way” propaganda from homosexual groups (incidentally, no one has found a “gay gene” yet, so no one can yet prove that ANYBODY has ever been born homosexual), but it’s a well-documented fact that many homosexuals, especially lesbians, were sexually abused when they were young.

    So why would homosexuals try to divert attention away from this with their unproven “born that way” propaganda? What kind of people divert attention away from the sexual abuse of children? This gives you some idea of the kind of people decent, moral people have to deal with on a daily basis. But maybe homosexuals will take “pride” in this diversion.

    It’s also a well-documented fact that male homosexuals are spreading sexually transmitted diseases all over this country. Indeed, this small minority accounts for about HALF of all new AIDS cases in this country every year. But there is no apology for all the expensive troubles they are causing via voluntary, disease-ridden, unsafe sex. Maybe they’ll take “pride” in this too.

    And homosexuals repeatedly offend blacks by comparing blacks to heterophobic people voluntarily engaging in sexual aberrations. The comparison between civil rights for blacks and civil wrongs for homosexuals (thinking people have known for centuries that homosexual activity is immoral and a bad legal precedent) is demeaning. But there is no apology from homosexuals for this bogus comparison. But maybe homosexuals will take “pride” in demeaning blacks. Again, this gives you some idea of the kind of people decent, moral people have to deal with on a daily basis. Unreal.

  4. Alan Harris
    October 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM #

    Let me see if I have this right – you have a Chief Diversity Officer who supports a popular vote to determine whether gay citizens should be treated by their government in the same way that straight citizens are treated.

    I guess that means she believes the decision as to whether Black Americans should be required to ride in the back of the city bus should be left up to a popular vote in Alabama.

    This woman has forfeited her right to serve in the capacity of representing all students.

  5. Abraham Lincoln
    October 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM #

    I was very sorry to hear that the University wants to reinstate the Chief Diversity Officer. But a bigot should not hold the job of Chief Diversity Officer.

    What if it had been a white male Chief Diversity Officer who joined the KKK, or signed a petition supporting the KKK? Yes, it is right to speak his mind, but it is is not his right to hold that job as a bigot.

    What if the head of the NAACP joined the KKK or signed a petition supporting the KKK? I think you can understand how ludicrous it would be for such a person to serve as head of the NAACP.

  6. Han Solo
    October 25, 2012 at 11:37 PM #

    GO, McCaskill! She’s professional enough to keep her personal life and profession separate. She was just unfortunate that somebody found out and made a big deal out of it.

    At least she’s getting paid on leave. Lucky her!

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