Students now may designate personal pronouns on class rosters


Starting this week, University of Michigan students are able to designate a personal pronoun with the university and have the pronoun reflected on class rosters this fall.

The move is another way the university is fostering an environment of inclusiveness, according to an email to students and faculty members on the Ann Arbor campus from Provost Martha Pollack and Vice President for Student Life Royster Harper.

more information

A designated personal pronoun is a pronoun an individual chooses to identify with and expects others to use when referencing them (he, she, him, his, ze, etc.).

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

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.

“Faculty members play a vital role in ensuring all of our community feels valued, respected and included. Given that this process is new, we ask that faculty members review their rosters again in mid- to late October to give students time to designate their pronouns,” the email message says.

These changes give students the ability to tell the university what pronoun they identify with for use in the university’s communications and interactions with them.

“Asking about and correctly using someone’s designated pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities,” Pollack and Harper say.

“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.”

This process has been developed over the past year by a Pronoun Committee. Members of that committee include: Carrie Shumaker, ITS Student Administration; Janice Lewis-Boyd, UM-Dearborn registrar; Jacob Lederman, UM-Flint assistant professor of sociology; Lisa Emery, Office of the Registrar; Robin Queen, professor 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, professor of political science, Patricia Petrowski, Office of the General Counsel; and Catherine Pinkerton, Office of the General Counsel.



  1. Jennifer Sporer
    on September 28, 2016 at 9:33 am

    So proud of my alma mater and employer! Much love and excitement for another step in the right direction towards inclusiveness.

    • Stephen de’Georg
      on October 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      My pronoun is Mr. UM Sucks.

    • Bob Foster
      on December 1, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Take your General Studies, Ethnic studies or Social Science degree and put it on your resume together with your preferred pronoun and employers will be so impressed they will beat down your door to offer you a six figure income job.In the real world of employment telling an employer to call you by your preferred made up pronoun will really impress them.

  2. Gray F
    on September 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I hope this helps students feel more comfortable and help mitigate any problems in the future. Are they able to type in their own pronouns or is there a specific list from which they can choose? Can faculty and staff do the same on their profiles? I see that only specific systems will allow the data to populate for a roster list, but are faculty and staff able to have access to this information without regulation in other situations such as billing, advising, transcripts, and grading? How is, or does, UMich plan to protect this information to help shield students against transphobia? What are other efforts the administration is making to help alleviate educator and administrative bias against transgender people at UMich?

  3. Robert Moos
    on September 28, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve decided I want to be called Emperor!

    • Steven Jones
      on September 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      That’s an offensive sexist noun pleasefall in line with th children

  4. Emily Jenkins
    on September 28, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    Wonderful news! So proud of our campus for taking this step, and thank you to the student activists who pushed the issue and all who served on the committee.

  5. Dr. Timothy J. Williams
    on September 28, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Pure mental illness. Glad I don’t teach in a lunatic asylum like U. of Mich.

  6. Lord Hart
    on September 29, 2016 at 1:03 am

    That’s Lord Hart. You show the respect due me as Royalty. If any member of the faculty disrespects my personal pronoun choice, it’s an easy lawsuit.

    How ridiculous this University is to bend to this baloney. I would refuse to call anyone “Ze.” How stupid.

  7. Schmarthy Schmarther
    on September 29, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    My preferred pronoun is “Grand Sensei Mixmaster”

  8. Steven Jones
    on September 29, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    When I heard aboutthis at a staff meeting this morning ithought my clinical supervisor waspulling myleg after picking myself up off thefloor laughing sadly I learned he was not Ihave been a mentalhealth clinician for 35years and this gives the term “snowflakes”new meaning and anew diagnostic spectrum congratulations Michigan ,you beat Seattle we are usually first

  9. S.K. Cool
    on September 29, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Really? So why is Steven up there all exercised over Robert’s choice of “Emperor”? It’s all about who he feels like right? Who he thinks he is. Very intolerant Steven. Sincerely, this is lunacy. How about, just for fun, teaching something useful? Higher education has become absolutely ridiculous. It’s really quite a shame.

  10. Philip Donoghue
    on September 30, 2016 at 2:46 am

    My pronoun is Lord-Commander-of-the-Clit

    • Joe Adams
      on September 30, 2016 at 8:54 am

      U of Mich, this is a joke that furthers your liberal causes and does these clueless millennials no favors in the real world.. With 4.0′ s my daughter will not be attending this liberal joke of a university

  11. Autumn Perez
    on September 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

    It is all about the ME-llennials. God, forgive them for they know not what they do…
    Is total idiocy!! My children WILL NOT attend this institution of “higher” learning.

  12. Jamie Iseler
    on September 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    An earlier comment was removed for violating U-M’s social media guidelines regarding obscene language, which can be found at

  13. Rachel Hughes
    on September 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm


  14. Karen Tilton
    on September 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    You have got to be kidding!! Why send kids to college to learn this ridiculousness?

  15. Karen Tilton
    on September 30, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    You have got to be kidding!! Why send kids to college to learn this ridiculousness?

  16. Red Seewun
    on October 1, 2016 at 12:13 am

    “An earlier comment was removed for violating U-M’s social media guidelines regarding obscene language…”

    if you are serious about removing “obscene language”, you should start by removing this stupid policy… it is an obscenity to anyone with an IQ larger than their hat size and enough common sense to come in out of the rain during a storm.

    you are doing your students, and society, no favors with this stupidity.

    oh yeah, you can call me “Specialist”

    i held that rank for almost 20 years.

  17. Roger Holley
    on October 1, 2016 at 5:06 am

    I therefore insist and demand that ALL persons on or off campus, and in my future workplace, refer to my freely chosen and deeply spiritually and politically meaningful title: ‘Master of all races, sexes and genders, biologically and politically, ruling by the power vested in me by the Late Adolf Hitler and the
    supreme 21st Century Nazi ideology of world conquest and total and ‘final’ subjugation by the Racially Supreme Master Race’. Please respect my chosen title just as I will respect anyone else,s title whether I agree with it or whether it may
    ‘Offend’ me. I have the same right as anyone else to insist that my chosen title be respected and used exclusively by all students and faculty. I don’t get veto power over your choice so please don’t even think of trying to disrespect or exclude my choose. To do so would violate my legal rights and subject anyone trying to censor my chosen title to legal penalties, including lawsuit against said individuals and any faculty who supports or assists their denial of my equal right to chose my preferred identity.

  18. Ilga Svechs
    on October 4, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Does this U-M effort for “inclusiveness” attempt to destroy young adults’ normal developmental attempts to integrate their self-identity? Where are your faculty members teaching normal human development? Shame on my alma mater.

  19. Harsh Truth
    on October 27, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Here’s a truth that will help you people tremendously in life: You are all a bunch of idiots.

  20. stupidity on display
    on January 26, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    This is the height of STUPIDITY!! How about OBERGRUPENFUHRER? Or FU2?

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