The Palm Center Merges with Williams Institute of UCLA
One of the nation’s leading think tanks specializing in issues of gender and sexuality in the military has announced that it is merging with another research group that monitors statistics about the LGBT population.
The Palm Center will now work as a distinct unit of the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. The group had been based out of the university’s Santa Barbara campus for more than a decade.
But Palm Center Director Aaron Belkin tells OutQ News that the move was an “administrative change” because he has since relocated to San Francisco. He says it would have made no sense to continue operating from UCSB since he was no longer there.
Belkin also says that the merger was NOT motivated by money, adding that the Palm Center is, and has always been, “financially healthy.” He says it came down to acknowledging the benefits of uniting with the Williams Institute.
BELKIN: “So on the one hand, there’s kind of a research overlap that makes this a natural fit. And there’s also an opportunity for enhancing strengths, and I don’t know what you’d call it, maybe synergy in areas where Williams has expertise.”
Belkin says together the groups will spend the rest of the year monitoring the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and will conduct studies on the military service of transgender Americans.