Jae Lee / WBAA News

As he completed his final meeting as chair of the University Senate, Purdue professor Kirk Alter chided Provost Deba Dutta and administrators who sit in the Senate for acting on their own behalf, but under the guise of representing the rank-and-file in their departments.

On this Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, we ask Purdue’s president if the line has become too blurred between faculty and staff and whether those administrators are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Indiana Lawmakers Differ Over Federal Transgender Guidelines

May 20, 2016
Barnaby Wasson /

The recent federal directive that says schools should allow transgender students equal access to bathrooms has come under fire from an Indiana congressman.

U.S. Representative Luke Messer filed legislation Wednesday to block the directive. He says rules regarding bathroom access should originate locally.

But lawmakers across the state have searched for their own answers and reached varying conclusions.

Democratic State Representative Ed DeLaney, of Indianapolis, says the idea of transgender students is nothing new.

City of Frankfort

We’ve talked a lot with Frankfort’s Chris McBarnes about road repaving here on Ask The Mayor.

Usually, it’s a question about why SR28 is in such bad shape.

But this week, a more positive tone – when the city’s bids come in lower than expected, more paving can be done, But how much more?

Also on this week’s program, some talk about public safety. The city has had a hard time gaining accreditation from a group of police chiefs, in part because of poor evidence handling. We’ll ask what’s held that up for three years.

NYC Department of Education /

A new directive to schools from the Obama Administration to accommodate transgender students isn't actually all that new.

Indiana School Boards Association attorney Lisa Tanselle says the government told schools two years ago to honor the bathroom and locker room preferences of transgender students.

She says Friday's letter to schools advises them to edit student records to reflect gender identity, and adds guidance for accommodations on overnight trips, but otherwise essentially reaffirms the stance that transgender students are covered by sex discrimination laws.

Jim Nix /

A Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that aims to balance protections for gay, lesbian and bisexual Hoosiers and people faith. Those testifying in complete support of the measure were few and far between.

Freedom Indiana / Facebook

The legislative debate over LGBT rights next year is likely to focus more than ever before on the "T" in that phrase.

Until now, the statehouse LGBT debate has centered on gay marriage, pushing transgender Hoosiers to the periphery. With the 2016 focus on a broader anti-discrimination bill, civil rights group Freedom Indiana has kicked off its push for the law with a roster of speakers drawn entirely from the transgender community.

Ted Eytan /

A week after voters in Houston, Texas rejected the idea, an Indianapolis city-county councilman says he wants to explore the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms in the city.

Cities such as Austin, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Santa Fe and Seattle have already approved legislation that calls for more single-user, all-gender public restrooms.

Indianapolis City-County Councilman Zach Adamson says gender-neutral bathrooms are part of a broad swath of equality and human rights he feels should become public accommodations.

Casey Kuhn / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The emotions of a teenager are not simple to understand. As they move away from childhood and morph into an adult, the confusion invades many aspects of their lives, including in their classrooms.

For students recognizing their sexual orientation or gender identity, this confusion is intensified. As the students struggle to embrace this part of their life, teachers also struggle to understand the challenges LGBTQ students face.