Towson University among nation’s leaders in LGBTQ+ inclusion

TU receives five stars, is rated top in state for its efforts to include and protect all on campus

November 12, 2021


A national leader in inclusive excellence, Towson University has received a five-star rating from the, a national assessment tool assisting campuses in improving safety and campus climate for people who identify as LGBTQ+. TU is one of just 47 of the nation’s colleges and universities to receive the highest ranking possible—climbing from a four-star designation a year ago.

TU is joined by University of Maryland, College Park, as the only five-star rated institutions in the state. The Maryland Institute of Art received four-and-a-half stars, while Johns Hopkins University earned four stars.

“TU is a national leader in inclusive excellence, and this recognition is evidence of the institution-wide emphasis TU has placed on inclusion,” President Kim Schatzel said. “An inclusive and diverse community is a pre-requisite for a quality, higher education experience. Such an educational experience provides that our graduates learn to both thrive and support others to thrive inclusively, and because of those experiences, TU students are better prepared to lead in a 21st Century global economy.” 

In individual analysis, TU’s LGBTQ+ policy inclusion, support and institutional commitment, campus safety and counseling and health received five stars.

Moving into this premier echelon is indicative that both the university strategic plan and diversity strategic plan have seen successful implementation throughout the campus community.

Through its strategic plan, TU actively works to build an inclusive, collaborative, and equitable community where people from all backgrounds, identities, abilities and life experiences are welcomed, valued and supported to achieve their fullest potential.  This commitment is reflected in hiring practices, decision-making, academic and co-curricular programming, support services and resources.

“The Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity are proud that our campus contributes to a more inclusive, welcoming, and respectful LGBTQ+ and ally campus,” said Patricia Bradley, interim vice president of the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity. “The efforts of our DEI education team and our Center for Student Diversity are unparalleled. Their commitment to education and programming has impacted the quality of life for our LGBTQ+ and ally community. We are honored to receive this recognition and encourage our campus community to continue to be change agents and strive towards improving campus safety and belonging for all.”

In recent years, TU has:

  • officially launched the campus-wide chosen name policy
  • established an LGBTQ Alumni Affinity Group
  • launched “New and Q” — a first-year/transfer student experience for incoming LGBTQ+ students
  • created “Queer and Questioning” — a monthly support group for students, faculty and staff
  • developed a Queer Leadership Retreat to promote student leadership opportunities
  • continued to develop intersectional campus programming, such as consent and sexual violence prevention centered around LGBTQ+ identities and experiences
  • attended an LGBTQ+ admissions fair in NYC
  • developed LGBTQ+-affirming support groups through the Counseling Center
  • offered the “Full Spectrum” lecture series to present research and increase campus access to LGBTQ+ academic scholarship and research opportunities
  • established the annual Queer Wellness Week in a collaboration across campus constituencies
  • annually promoted International Pronoun Awareness Day with a campus-wide initiative through social media.
  • continued to grow campus education and professional development with an expanded allyship and advocacy series
  • increased mentoring and networking resources for LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty
  • maintained an annual, active presence at Baltimore City Pride weekend in June
  • developed partnerships with community organizations focused on supporting LGBTQ+ identities.

The latest recognition from Campus Pride Index follows a series of rankings that distinguish TU as one of the nation’s leading institutions for inclusive excellence.

In September, Towson University was recognized by Insight into Diversity magazine with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. That honor marks the second consecutive year TU has been placed among the nation’s top institutions for inclusion.

TU is ranked among the top public institutions in the nation according to multiple publications. Learn more about recognitions and honors on TU’s rankings page.