UK gets top marks for helping LGBTQ students

An aerial view of the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky.
An aerial view of the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington, Ky. Herald-Leader file photo

The University of Kentucky received a top national ranking for its commitment to policies and programs that protect gay, lesbian and transgender students from discrimination.

UK received five out of five stars for its overall climate of inclusiveness, one of only 25 schools nationwide to get a top rating.

The ranking is done by Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool that assesses policies and programs for LGBTQ employees and students in higher education. The index includes more than 235 colleges and universities.

UK was the only school in the Southeastern Conference to receive a five-star ranking. The University of Louisville also received the highest designation.

“We are incredibly proud of our five-star rating and very aware of the host of campus partners and student leaders who contributed to us receiving this distinction by putting diversity and inclusivity as a major focus in all that they do each day,” said UK Director of LGBTQ* Resources Lance Poston. “It sends a strong signal to prospective students and employees that UK is a place that values everyone and the unique contributions they make to our special place.”

The ranking is based on factors such as support services and institution commitment, housing, campus safety, counseling, and recruitment and retention efforts. Part of the grade was also based on having a resource center and paid staff committed to LGBTQ support services.