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Friends of Out@UCL in UCL’s Senior Management Team

Visibility is key to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ staff and students.

Out@UCL is delighted to have received the following pledges of support from members of UCL Council and UCL’s Senior Management Team. This signals an incredibly strong message to their colleagues and/or students that they are committed to advancing LGBTQ+ equality at UCL.

Chair of Council
Dame DeAnne Julius, Chair, UCL CouncilFriends of Out@UCL

Dame DeAnne Julius - Chair, UCL Council

Diversity and inclusion are at the core of UCL’s ethos and history.

Over my own career the focus on diversity has broadened from the women’s movement, with which I was involved in the 1970s, to racial equality – especially in the United States - and now to sexual orientation.

There are still many battles to be fought for truly equal opportunities and inclusion, but I am proud that UCL has been at the forefront of these efforts. We recognise the creative benefits of diversity and we should ensure that everyone feels comfortable here to be themselves, without prejudice or derision. That is why I support Out@UCL and commend the work of the UCL LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group.

UCL Council Members
Friends of Out@UCLVen Balakrishnan – Member, UCL Council

Ven Balakrishnan – Member, UCL Council

In the perennial philosophy of Socrates (of the West) and of the Upanishads (in the East), the focus has always been on knowing oneself, and examining and rooting out the causes of desire, greed, fear, and hatred. The very idea of judging others by their appearance, colour, status, sex or indeed who they choose to share their lives with, betrays a lack of wisdom, a meanness of spirit and a level of insecurity that speaks volumes about those who would judge rather than anything else.

So it is without hesitation that I add my support to fellow human beings who are at the receiving end of mindless prejudice and discrimination.

Friends of Out@UCLProfessor Annette Dolphin – Member, UCL Council

Professor Annette Dolphin – Member, UCL Council

It is important that all under-represented and minority groups at UCL stand together on issues that affect us all, so I am very happy to support Out@UCL as a friend and ally.  

Friends of Out@UCL 	Professor Michael Arthur

Professor Michael Arthur - President & Provost

It was my very great pleasure to attend and contribute to the launch event for ‘friends of out @UCL’ on Monday 27th February 2017, a key initiative for UCL. 

Throughout my tenure as President and Provost, I have championed Equality and Diversity at UCL and have encouraged us all to address some uncomfortable truths about gender balance, racial inequality, disability and the issues that face our LGBTQ + community.   We are slowly, but surely making definite measurable progress and although these have, at times, been ‘hard yards’, I am confident that we are now in a cycle of continuous improvement.

Our objective is simple – we want to have a reputation for being amongst the very best on a global scale for our track record in Equality and Diversity, such that all our staff and students feel very confident and supported during their time at UCL. 

It is sadly true that some members of the LGBTQ+ do not yet feel that they can be themselves and ‘out’ in their work and study environment. The allies campaign called ‘friends of out @UCL’ is aimed at showing our University community that there is a huge amount of support for everyone to enjoy that basic freedom to just be themselves and to contribute with confidence to the future of UCL.

I encourage you all to become a ‘friend of out@ucl’ and to help make UCL a great place to work and study for everyone.

Friends of Out@UCLDame Nicola Brewer - UCL Vice-Provost (International)

Dame Nicola Brewer - UCL Vice-Provost (International)

At a time when there seems to be increasing support for populism and nativism, progress on equalities is vulnerable. So I feel it’s doubly important to speak out in favour of diversity and inclusion right now. I don’t want to see the gains made, painfully slowly, in recent decades, slip away.

And there’s always more to do, to make everyone feel valued and included and able to be themselves – that’s one of the things I love about UCL: the way people are encouraged to bring the whole of their personalities to work (though I try to keep my grumpiness on cold, grey, winter Monday mornings to myself).

Lori Houlihan – Vice Provost (Development)Friends of Out@UCL

Lori Houlihan – Vice Provost (Development)

I am delighted to join Friends of Out@UCL as an ally of the LGBTQ+ community – what a great initiative!

I know everyone in my team is also very supportive, since it absolutely chimes with our core value of creating a comfortable, safe workplace for all our staff. We are also very proud to be one of the first universities to set up an LGBT alumni group.

UCL’s great strength is that it knows that diversity is powerful. It’s really important to make sure we do everything we can to challenge ignorance and prejudice, and this is a great initiative that sends a clear message that discrimination has no place at UCL.

Professor David Lomas - UCL Vice-Provost (Health)Friends of Out@UCL

Professor David Lomas - UCL Vice-Provost (Health)

I am delighted to offer my support to the Friends of Out@UCL campaign and stand with LEAG and Out@UCL as an ally.

The UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences is training the next generation of scientists, pharmacists and doctors and it is of utmost importance that we provide a safe and inclusive environment, where all students and staff - regardless of gender or sexuality - are treated with dignity and respect. By doing so, we hope that they will go on to take these values into their future professions, whether this be in healthcare, industry or academia.

Rex Knight – UCL Vice-Provost (Operations)Friends of Out@UCL

Rex Knight – UCL Vice-Provost (Operations)

We want all members of the UCL community to be able to give their best, and to enjoy the time they spend here, and feel welcome, included and valued.

I am proud that UCL has taken the initiative with the Friends of Out@UCL allies campaign, and very pleased to be able to give it my support.

Friends of Out@UCLProfessor David Price – UCL Vice-Provost (Research)Professor David Price - UCL Vice-Provost (Research)

Professionally and personally, I am both delighted and proud to support Out@UCL.

Tolerance, openness and diversity have informed our university’s ethos since its founding. Indeed, they were key to many of our ground-breaking developments in research and teaching over two centuries, and today underpin our efforts to address the barriers preventing people’s access to just solutions and equality of opportunity. I commend Out@UCL and its Friends as they enrich our university’s culture and capacity to fulfil its mission. 
Professor Anthony Smith – UCL Vice-Provost (Education) Friends of Out@UCL

Professor Anthony Smith – UCL Vice-Provost (Education)

I am delighted, but not surprised, to see the tremendous level of support for LGBTQ+ colleagues from friends and allies across UCL.  I say not surprised because this reflects the warm welcome that I received on joining the UCL community and why I was delighted when I was asked to be the LGBTQ+ champion on the Provost’s Senior Management Team. 

There is always more that can be done, even in an open and inclusive community like UCL.  I look forward to working with friends and allies to ensuring that all of us at UCL can feel comfortable in our own skin, irrespective of our sexuality and whether we choose to disclose it.

Faculty Deans
Professor Mark Emberton – Dean, UCL Faculty of Medical SciencesFriends of Out@UCL

Professor Mark Emberton - Dean, UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences

Showing my support for Out@UCL is of paramount importance, especially in the current climate of intolerance and marginalisation.  It is more important than ever to promote equality, diversity and dignity for all.  It is our duty to provide and nurture an environment where our students and staff feel safe and respected.

I am honoured to show my support to the Friends of Out@UCL programme and proud to serve as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.  

Professor Becky Francis – Director, UCL Institute of EducationFriends of Out@UCL

Professor Becky Francis - Director, UCL Institute of Education

My own scholarship has been focused on social equality in education, and attends to social discrimination and inequity.  So the Equalities and Diversity agenda within higher education is close to my heart.  I have been delighted to find that UCL is also taking this agenda seriously. 

The Friends of Out@UCL is a really valuable initiative for supporting the work of the LGBTQ+ Equality Advisory Group & Out@UCL, as well as the university’s wider efforts in this area, and I’m very pleased to be part of that network.

Professor Mary Fulbrook – Dean, UCL Faculty of Social and Historical SciencesFriends of Out@UCL

Professor Mary Fulbrook - Dean, UCL Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences

Why is being an ally of particular importance to me? For many reasons. Professionally, I am a historian of Germany, and am appalled not only at how Nazis treated homosexuality but also at the continuing discrimination that persisted across Europe long after the end of the Third Reich.

Politically, discrimination still exists in many areas of the world, whether in official practices and legislation or in social relations in everyday life.

On a personal level, I am aware just how difficult things can be even in western society today, where recently won changes in conditions and increasing willingness to be open about and ‘own’ one’s identity nevertheless continually face challenges. We must stand together if we want diversity and humanity - in every sense of the word - to develop and flourish.

Professor Graham Hart – Dean, UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences Member of Out@UCL

Professor Graham Hart - Dean, UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences

Although I was ‘out’ as a gay man in my twenties to friends and colleagues, I didn’t come out to my family until my early thirties, after I’d met my long-term partner (and now husband) Chris.

This I think was an example of the effect of the powerful stigma in relation to sexuality that was present in the late eighties and early nineties, and probably internalised homophobia on my part.  For many young people that stigma still remains, and I've seen evidence of this when LGBT friends have become estranged from parents and siblings unwilling to accept them.

Fortunately in my academic career as an HIV researcher I have always had LGBT colleagues and allies for whom such stigma was anathema. I feel honoured to have worked with so many amazing people who always went the extra mile to care for people living with HIV and AIDS, regardless of sexuality, gender, ethnicity and country of origin.

I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign.  I’ve benefited personally from the support of the LGBT community and its allies, and hope that I can contribute to the continued efforts of UCL to eradicate any remaining vestiges of stigma in relation to LGBT staff and students.

Professor Ivan Parkin – Dean, UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical SciencesFriends of Out@UCL

Professor Ivan Parkin - Dean, UCL Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

I fully support the aims of the Friends of Out@UCL campaign. I have personal experience of the need for such a campaign and the difficulties that the LGBTQ+ community face.

Two close family members are members of this community. One who helped in part to bring me up was in a same-sex relationship for more than 45 years and faced extreme discrimination because her sexual orientation was not accepted by society - especially in the 1970's. The other has recently entered a same-sex relationship.

I firmly believe that all people should be treated the same no matter who they are- everyone deserves respect and understanding and no one form of love is superior to another.

Professor Alan Penn - Dean, The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment Friends of Out@UCL

Professor Alan Penn - Dean, The Bartlett, UCL Faculty of the Built Environment

The Bartlett is an incredibly diverse faculty. We bring together people from all backgrounds, academic disciplines and professions to work on the challenges posed by the built environment and creative design. Richness and innovation are founded in diversity and respect for the individual.

Being a ‘Friend’ of Out@UCL is just a natural part of a healthy workplace and globally leading place of education and research in a diverse world. At a time where Brexit and Trump signal increasing intolerance it is essential that we speak up for freedom.

Professor Geraint Rees - Dean, UCL Faculty of Life SciencesFriends of Out@UCL

Professor Geraint Rees - Dean, UCL Faculty of Life Sciences

Diversity and inclusion are core values for UCL since it was founded. Maintaining and strengthening these values is even more relevant today with the growth of bigotry and intolerance directed at LGBTQ+ people in many societies and cultures.

I am proud to champion diversity and inclusion and be an active ally to UCL’s LGBTQ+ community.

Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker - Dean, UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

Friends of Out@UCLProfessor Nigel Titchener-Hooker - Dean, UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences

Friends of Out@UCL is an enormously important campaign.

The difficulties that the LGBTQ+ community face are very real and impact directly in ways that is often hard to fully understand. That said, I believe that people should be treated the same no matter who they are and that everyone has a right to expect respect and understanding.

I hope passionately that this campaign will deliver tangible progress and am totally committed to helping in any way that I can.  

Friends of Out@UCLProfessor Alan Thompson – Dean, UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences

I am delighted to give my support to the Friends of Out@UCL allies campaign.

Diversity and equality are core values  and essential to the success of the Faculty of Brain Sciences and indeed to that of UCL. Our Faculty must provide an open, safe and inclusive environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We must take a stand against intolerance wherever we see it and stand as committed allies to our LGBTQ+ staff and students.

Directors of Professional Services
Karen Barnard – Director, UCL Careers Friends of Out@UCL

Karen Barnard – Director, UCL Careers

I am proud to be a ‘Friend’ of Out@UCL and to fully endorse this cause. I believe that UCL should have an inclusive environment for all members of the UCL community to work and study in. All members of staff, students and visitors should feel comfortable and supported in their workplace.


Simon Cane – Director, UCL CultureFriends of Out@UCL

Simon Cane – Director, UCL Culture

In UCL Culture we believe in the ‘Power of Open’, which is our way of saying that we welcome all people without prejudice.  I believe that it is important to champion the rights of the LGBTQ+ people within and outside of UCL, focussing on the positive contribution of the community through creating a caring and compassionate environment that recognises and celebrates difference whilst promoting unity.

Phil Harding - Director, UCL Finance and Business Affairs

Friends of Out@UCLPhil Harding - Director, UCL Finance and Business Affairs

I am delighted to be able to pledge my support to the Friends of Out@UCL programme and to become an ally. 

There is plenty of evidence that an LGBTQ+ friendly workplace leads to improved health, wellbeing and organisational performance.  It is absolutely the right thing to do.




Last updated: 08th May 2017