Law.com, ‘I Couldn’t Imagine Leading and Not Being Openly Gay’: How LGBTQIA+ Pride Informs Law School Leadership:
The decision to be open about one’s sexual orientation is deeply personal. But for many queer law deans, the decision’s potential impact on the people they lead is often a key part of the calculus.
“I feel it is important for me to be openly gay as a dean because representation matters,” Anthony Niedwiecki, president and dean of Mitchell Hamline School of Law, told Law.com.
“I’ve been given the gift of being able to be a dean, and I want to show other LGBTQ+ people that you can be your authentic self and still be in leadership positions,” Niedwiecki said. “I honestly believe I’m a much better leader because I’m openly gay and authentic. I couldn’t imagine leading and not being openly gay.”
“[A]s the first Black, female and gay law dean at Rutgers Law, I have an unwavering belief that representation matters,” Kimberly Mutcherson, dean and professor of law at Rutgers Law School in Camden told Law.com in an email, echoing Niedwiecki’s sentiment.
“It’s important for those of us who have multiple identities to show up as our full selves in our professional lives for our own wellbeing and because it gives our students an opportunity to imagine themselves in our shoes,” she said.
Anthony Crowell, president and dean of New York Law School, told Law.com that “when it comes to our LGBTQ+ community members, an out dean must always be a proud representative and advocate who reflects an understanding of the lived experiences and unique challenges and hardships of some of those who identify as such.”