Students, faculty, staff and temporary staff only have to visit one site — NUValidate, Northwestern’s Identity Management system — to provide their pronouns and name as they would like it displayed in University systems.
“There are hundreds of systems on our campuses that use Human Resources and student data, and we wanted to make sure that we had a single point of entry for this information,” said Jaci Casazza, assistant provost and university registrar.
This change is a gender inclusive initiative housed within the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion (OIDI) and is the result of collaboration between Information Technology, Human Resources, the Office of the Registrar and other University partners. The systems update project is key to increase access, resources and support for gender expansive students, faculty and staff, said Michelle Manno, assistant provost for diversity and inclusion.
“Our commitment to this work builds upon decades of advocacy and leadership for, and research related to the experiences of, trans, non-binary and genderqueer members of the Northwestern community,” Manno said.
In 2018, the University created the Gender Queer, Non-Binary and Trans (GQNBT) Task Force to assess the current landscape at Northwestern to identify gaps in policies and resources, and to recommend gender inclusive strategies that will facilitate a more accessible, safer and welcoming campus environment for trans and nonbinary students, faculty and staff at Northwestern.
Among those recommended strategies, the task force proposed that the University create a centralized “one stop” identity-management system that would feed into all other systems, including CAESAR, Human Resources, and Health Services. That recommendation informed the systems update project and gave Northwestern a foundation upon which future phases of the project will continue to build, said Manno.
Instructions and frequently asked questions about the system changes appear on a new OIDI website, including where users’ pronouns and display name will appear if added, who will be able to see an individual’s display name when logged into the NU systems, and descriptions of future phases including disambiguating sex and gender and adding gender identity as a field within a select number of systems.
After the announcement, project partners hosted three webinars to offer students, faculty and staff opportunities to ask questions about entering and sharing data.
In addition, the Women’s Center and OIDI will host three workshops around gender inclusivity during Spring Quarter online and in-person on the Evanston and Chicago campuses. The workshops will cover fundamental concepts around gender identity and expression, enable participants opportunities to practice using affirming language and help them begin thinking about how to be trans-inclusive.
Northwestern students, faculty and staff who encounter issues or questions in updating their identity data are encouraged to contact the project partners at email@example.com