Dr. Angela McCaskill
Gallaudet Official Offered Chance to Return

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com October 16 2012 5:23 PM ET

The president of Gallaudet University said he wants the chief diversity officer who was suspended after signing an anti-gay marriage petition to return to her post.

A statement issued Tuesday by Gallaudet president T. Alan Hurwitz extended an olive branch to Angela McCaskill, announcing that she could have her job back, The Washington Post reports. “Dr. McCaskill has been, and can continue to be, a valued member of this community and we are very much interested in working with everyone to come to a shared understanding in an environment that allows the community to rebound and move forward,” Hurwitz said.

McCaskill was put on paid administrative leave October 9 after refusing to apologize for signing a petition to place the marriage equality law on the ballot in Maryland.

“I am dismayed that Gallaudet University is still a university of intolerance, a university that manages by intimidation, a university that allows bullying among faculty, staff and students,” McCaskill said at a press conference in Annapolis Tuesday afternoon, with the assistance of an interpreter (Gallaudet is a university for people who are deaf or hard of hearing).

Hurwitz said in a statement last Thursday, "It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently. I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps taking into consideration the duties of this position at the university."

McCaskill and her husband signed the petition over the summer. The signatures became public this month, allowing two faculty members to discover their colleague had signed the petition.