University reaffirms commitment to transgender students

We are all aware of the recent rescission by the departments of Justice and Education of their May 2016 guidance that provided additional protections for transgender students. Because this rescission is concerning to many of our employees and students, I wanted to provide some information for your review.

Missouri State University is committed to creating an academic and work environment free of sexual discrimination and harassment, while valuing the dignity of all students, faculty and staff.

In the last three years we have expanded our Title IX office from part-time commitment to a staff of four people to address all concerns associated with sexual discrimination and harassment.

Additionally, Missouri State has made a concerted effort to be inclusive across campus.

Avenue of international flagsNondiscrimination policy was expanded last year

In February 2016 – before the issuance of the now rescinded protections – we modified our campus nondiscrimination policy to specifically preclude discrimination based on marital status, family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other subcategory of sex discrimination. Recent actions taken by the federal government do not change this or any other university policy.

Missouri State values all forms of diversity represented on our campus. It makes us all consider a variety of perspectives that we may not have been exposed to before joining the Missouri State community. These perspectives ideally create a more culturally compassionate response to changing environments and those who ask for our consideration and respect.

We remain committed to our transgender students and will continue to provide for your safety. Please continue to interact with the LGBTQ Resource Center in the Multicultural Resource Center Annex for information and support.

Clif Smart

About Clif Smart

Clifton "Clif" M. Smart III has served as the 11th president of Missouri State University since June 27, 2011. Smart is known throughout campus and the state of Missouri for his collaborative leadership and strong relationships with students, faculty and staff. During his tenure, the university has continually set new enrollment records, added degree programs and constructed or extensively renovated more than a dozen major campus facilities. Before his presidency, Smart served as the Missouri State University’s general counsel.
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