Concealed campus carry and the academic freedom of LGBTQ+ faculty : a case study

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2017-08

Authors

Phelps, Nicholas Daniel

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Abstract

This study explores the perceptions of faculty who identify as LGBTQ+ of the impact of campus carry on their academic freedom and feelings of safety. This study employed a case study methodology, guided by self-determination theory’s (Deci and Ryan, 2000) tenets of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. This study explored three research questions: 1. To what extent do LGBTQ+ faculty perceive campus carry to influence their ability to freely teach, challenge, and otherwise interact with students in and out of the classroom? 2. To what extent do LGBTQ+ faculty perceive campus carry to influence their ability to freely pursue their research agenda? 3. To what extent to faculty believe their identity as LGBTQ+ influences their sense of safety and security at a campus on which campus carry has been implemented? Data were collected from ten total faculty interviews, an analysis of department statements regarding campus carry, and observations of two previously-recorded public forums on campus carry. Results indicated campus carry negatively impacts faculty perceptions of competence in teaching in potentially armed classrooms as well as faculty perceptions of safety and relatedness to their campus community. Results also indicated faculty are ardently striving to maintain and pursue autonomy in their research agendas. Faculty also expressed considerable concern for the safety of their LGBTQ+ students, students of color, and students from other marginalized backgrounds. Finally, faculty expressed a general perception of campus carry as a symbolic affront to them as academics by a conservative Texas legislature

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