GLAAD: Heather Wilson’s Election as UTEP’s New President is a Failure in Process and Transparency

The Advocate: Heather Wilson's Antigay Record, Husband's Past Complicate Job at UT

ICYMI: Trump official Heather Wilson gets backlash as choice to lead Texas border university 

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, expressed its disapproval of the University of Texas Board of Regents' decision today to name Heather Wilson as the next president of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). The selection occurred amid disturbing news reports exposed Wilson’s anti-LGBTQ record as well as a bombshell report suggesting Wilson used the power of her political office to cover up a sex abuse allegation involving her husband and a minor. 

“The decision to select Heather Wilson as UTEP’s president without holding a public hearing about her disturbing past is a failure in process and transparency and a disservice to the students, faculty, and alumni of the University of Texas,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “LGBTQ students should never have to question whether their University president supports them, and Heather Wilson's appointment is a slap in their face.”

Prior Wilson’s election, GLAAD joined supporters of UTEP, its students, and the El Paso community – including 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke – to reject Heather Wilson after research showed a disturbing anti-LGBTQ record by Wilson, including her vote against The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2007. Student groups and advocates issued a public campaign against Heather Wilson since being named the “sole finalist” for the UTEP vacancy. 

GLAAD has followed Heather Wilson since she was appointed to serve in the Trump Administration in 2017. Through the Trump Accountability Project (TAP), GLAAD has recounted all attacks the Trump Administration has made against LGBTQ Americans in policy and rhetoric, totaling up 99 attacks on LGBTQ Americans since taking office. For more information about the Trump Administration’s anti-LGBTQ record, go to