Office of the Provost

New Process for Designating Pronouns for Class Rosters

From: Martha E. Pollack, E. Royster Harper 
Date: Tue, Sep 27, 2016
Subject: New Process for Designating Pronouns for Class Rosters

Dear Ann Arbor campus faculty and students,

The University of Michigan is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness. Consistent with this value, the University has created a process for students to designate pronouns with the University and have those pronouns reflected on class rosters this fall. A designated pronoun is a pronoun an individual chooses to identify with and expects others to use when referencing them  (i.e., he, she, him, his, ze, etc.).  Faculty members play a vital role in ensuring all of our community feels valued, respected and included.

Students can designate pronouns in Wolverine Access through the new Gender Identity tab within the Campus Personal Information section. This page will be used to enter/update and/or delete pronoun information with the University.

Designated Pronouns will automatically populate on all class rosters accessed through Wolverine Access. Rosters pulled from other systems will not have designated pronouns listed. If a student does not designate a pronoun, none will be listed for them. Given that this process is new, we ask that faculty review their rosters again in mid- to late October to give students time to designate their pronouns.

These changes give students the ability to tell the University what pronoun they identify with for use in our communications and interactions with them. Asking about and correctly using someone’s designated pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities. If you make a mistake and use the wrong pronoun, you can acknowledge that you made a mistake, and use the correct pronoun next time. Please help us continue to make the University of Michigan an inclusive and welcoming place for all of our students.

To learn more about how to designate pronouns, visit Wolverine Access at https://csprod.dsc.umich.edu/htmldoc/eng/dftie/lsaa/htm/cc_ss_genderid.html.  If you have any questions about designated pronouns and to learn more about gender identity and gender expression, email the Spectrum Center atspectrumcenter@umich.edu or visit our website at spectrumcenter.umich.edu.

We would like to thank the faculty and staff members of the pronoun committee who have worked the past year to formulate this process:  The pronoun committee is comprised of the following individuals:  Carrie Shumaker, ITS Student Administration; Janice Lewis-Boyd, Registrar, U-M Dearborn; Jacob Lederman, Prof. of Sociology, UM-Flint; Lisa Emery, Office of the Registrar; Robin Queen, Prof. of Linguistics; Scott Berkley, Chair of the Admissions Systems Production Team; Trey Williams, Assistant Vice Provost; Will Sherry, Director of the Spectrum Center; Mariah Zeisberg, Prof. of Political Science, Patricia Petrowski, Office of the General Counsel, and Cathy Dehlin, Office of the General Counsel.

Sincerely,

Martha E. Pollack
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

E. Royster Harper
Vice President for Student Life