University of Michigan professors instructed to stick to ‘preferred pronouns’

The University of Michigan yesterday unveiled a new webpage that allows students to choose their preferred pronouns, including “they” and “ze.”

Preferred pronouns will appear on class rosters, and if professors accidentally use the wrong pronoun, “you can acknowledge that you made a mistake and use the correct pronoun next time,” said the university’s provost and vice president for student life in a campus-wide email announcement. It also called using preferred pronouns “one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.”

A university spokesman tells Heat Street, “If there were a persistent pattern of ignoring a student’s preference, we would address that as a performance matter.”

The new Wolverine Access page allows students to add, change, or delete preferred pronouns, which will be shared only with “those who have a legitimate education interest in the information,” the new webpage says. Students who don’t specify a preferred pronoun won’t have one listed, the university said.

The college’s IT team made the change, so it had no specific cost, a university spokesman said.

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