Gender Designation & Personal Pronouns

We've added fields to your information systems that allow members of our community to self-identify by gender identity and pronouns. DU already asks affiliates to self-identify by current legal sex (often coded as "gender"), race/ethnicity, veteran status and disability. By expanding our optional self-identification categories related to gender identity, we're able to understand and acknowledge our constituents more accurately and inclusively.

How Do I Update My Information?

Prospective students and employees are asked some basic demographics questions when applying, while current community members can update their personal information through PioneerWeb.

The expanded fields are optional but encouraged, and a "prefer not to respond" option is available. Unless you indicate something different, your legal name and sex will remain the default in all systems; other fields will note "not available" or be blank.

We recognize that even these expanded options do not represent all the categories that DU affiliates use to describe themselves. We are using the additional fields and these expanded options to gauge constituent interest and institutional utility. We plan to follow up with various campus constituencies to assess how we might improve descriptors, and potentially offer more and better options in the future.

  • Self-Identification Options

    Identity

    Options Offered

    Explanation

    Legal Sex

    • Male
    • Female
    • I elect not to self-identify at this time

    For DU's required reporting, and to avoid even the appearance of identity fraud, this must match current government designation.

    *Gender Designation

    • Man
    • Woman
    • Non-binary
    • I elect not to self-identify at this time
    • Option not listed

    Consistent, lived identity. Unlike legal sex or anatomical descriptors, this is the level at which most people interact with others.

    *Personal Pronouns

    • he/him/his
    • she/her/hers
    • they/them/theirs
    • I elect not to self-identify at this time
    • Option not listed

    Term used as stand-in for name in conversation and correspondence.

    Prefix/Honorific

    • Mr.
    • Mrs.
    • Ms.
    • Mx.
    • Dr.
    • Hon.
    • Prof.
    • Rev.

    Optional title or honorific used in formal greeting or correspondence. Some are traditionally based on gender, age and/or marital status.

    *New or expanded field

How Will This Information Be Used?

Most immediately, the University will use aggregate information to understand campus demographics better, and to improve our acknowledgment of and services to our diverse communities. This can include more robust support resources, enhanced training for service providers, more accurate reports and potential advocacy to external reporting agencies for improving their systems.

With this additional information, we are working to better connect various campus software systems so that your preferred name, pronouns and salutations are available from the central database, and are used consistently, accurately and respectfully by all affiliates. Ideally, every University interaction would be informed by the appropriate info: employees having phone and in-person conversations, auto-generated messages and online records would all use preferred names and pronouns. However, please note that we cannot yet guarantee every communication will use these selections.

Who Will Have Access to This Information?

With the exception of student directory information, access to all affiliate information is restricted by law and policy to University officials and those granted access by individual students.

Like most other personal information, an affiliate's legal sex and gender designation are not considered directory information and are not released, accessed or used without permission. However, students who sign FERPA releases for their parents/guardians/others should understand that this identifier information can be requested/disclosed.

As part of a student's name, prefix/honorific titles are considered directory information and will be used publicly.

All affiliates should be aware that providing this information to DU does make it available within the restrictions outlined above, so it should be provided thoughtfully and intentionally.