Call me Ishmael–Ms. Ishmael

A friend forwards this message from the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Middlebury College to all faculty, staff and students at the college. This just in:

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

We are writing to share exciting news with you regarding the college’s new preferred name and gender pronoun procedure, an option for identifying oneself in BannerWeb. This initiative was born from a proposal presented to the Administration in 2011 that highlighted recommendations for developing a process for those seeking to identify their preferred name and gender pronoun within Middlebury’s internal data systems.

Students, faculty, and staff at Middlebury may now indicate their preferred first name to the college community regardless of whether or not they have legally changed their name. Individuals are free to determine the preferred name by which they want to be known at the college, provided that the use of the preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation (using inappropriate names or using the process to avoid a legal obligation). Preferred first names that differ from an individual’s legal name will be used solely for Middlebury’s internal systems (directory information and email display names). In addition, individuals will be able to indicate a preferred gender pronoun (him, her, them, etc.) and name prefix (Mr., Ms., Miss, etc.).

Preferred names, gender pronouns, and name prefixes will appear on class rosters and advisee lists for students who specify them. Students who wish to avail themselves of this option in BannerWeb are encouraged to do so early in the semester so that the correct information appears on the final course roster. We ask that faculty consult class rosters and advisee lists, and use the pronouns, names, and prefixes listed there at all times.

The implementation of the preferred name and gender pronoun procedure in BannerWeb puts Middlebury at the forefront of gender identity and expression initiatives nationwide, and is in keeping with our institutional commitment to creating a diverse, welcoming community with full and equal participation for all individuals and groups.

Please visit go/preferredname for more information on how to indicate your preferred name and/or gender pronoun. You will also find additional resources for how to use preferred names and gender pronouns within our community.

If you have any questions about the resources or the procedure, do not hesitate to reach out to Assistant Director of Student Activities Jennifer Herrera ([email protected]).

We thank you for your support of this new initiative.


Andi Lloyd, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty
Shirley M. Collado, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of the College
Drew Macan, Associate Vice President for Human Resources

Good to know that those three-plus years of deliberations over the knotty issues resolved here were not wasted!


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