An inclusive and collegial environment is a critical component to Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) mission of delivering innovative academic programs that foster integrity, academic excellence, leadership, and community service. NSU encourages self-expression and expects that all members of the university community treat one another with respect, dignity, and civility.
NSU recognizes that some members of the university community may wish to utilize and be addressed by a name other than their legal name. As such, NSU has adopted the Preferred Name and Pronouns Policy to permit members of the university community to self-designate Preferred Names and/or Pronouns within certain university systems and records where feasible and appropriate in furtherance of NSU’s commitment to its Core Values of Community and Diversity.
The Phase I rollout in August 2023 will reflect Preferred Name and Pronouns changes across the various technology-based platforms and campus information systems such as class rosters, Shark ID cards, Canvas, Teams, Zoom, and Banner. Additional features will be implemented throughout 2023-24.
This page offers information on the usage of preferred names and personal gender pronouns, provides links to essential resources currently available at NSU, and guides anyone with questions about using preferred names and pronouns.
How can I change my Preferred Name and/or Pronouns?
All you have to do is enter your Preferred Name/Pronoun(s) in Banner Self-Service, and your choices will be reflected on the various technology-based platforms and campus information systems such as class rosters, Shark ID cards, Canvas, Teams, Zoom, and Banner.
Banner Self-Service will become the official system of record where you can choose a Preferred Name and/or Pronouns that will populate all supporting platforms.
Additional features will be implemented throughout 2023-24. Find out more details about NSU Applications Supporting Preferred Names and Pronouns.
Why is NSU adopting a Preferred Name and Pronouns policy?
An inclusive and collegial environment is a critical component to NSU's mission of delivering innovative academic programs that foster integrity, academic excellence, leadership, and community service. NSU encourages self-expression and expects that all members of the university community treat one another with respect, dignity, and civility.
There are many reasons why someone might want to use a preferred name. Some have used a different name than the one assigned at birth for many years and find the use of their legal name uncomfortable and out of place. Others may have adopted a new name more recently. Using a person's name and pronouns is essential to respecting their identity.
NSU has adopted a policy to permit members of the university community to self-designate preferred names and/or pronouns within certain university systems and records where feasible and appropriate in furtherance of NSU’s commitment to its core values of Community and Diversity.
What is the difference between a Legal Name and a Preferred Name?
Legal Name: First, middle, and last name that appears on government-issued documentation such as a valid birth certificate, Social Security card, passport, identification, or other legally recorded document.
Preferred Name: First name, other than legal, of preference by which one wishes to be identified. A preferred name (e.g., a chosen name, a nickname, or a name-in-use) is the name the community member uses as a first name. The preferred name is different from a person’s legal name and is defined as an alternative to the individual’s legal name designated by the individual within the university’s systems. A preferred name is limited to the first name (given name). Last names (surnames) are considered legal names, and any change to last names must be supported by appropriate documentation consistent with applicable legal requirements.
How should I use a preferred name category in SharkBanner, and are there any limitations?
Preferred names could be the use of a middle name instead of a first name, a nickname, an anglicized name (e.g., Pierre as Peter), names with special characters (e.g., Renée, François, Zoë, Sørina, Peña), a name an individual is legally changing, or a name that better represents their gender identity.
A preferred name is not meant to be a prefix title that you might use for professional activities or publications, such as Professor or Dr., and is not the use of abbreviated titles and titles given by an organization to a role or position, such as Vice President, Dean, etc.
What preferred pronouns can we use?
The common gender pronouns that a person prefers to be addressed by, such as he/him/his, she/her/hers, or they/them/theirs, as designated by the individual within the university’s systems. Other gender-neutral pronouns include Ze/hir/hirs, Xe/xem/xyrs, Ver/vir/vis, Te/tem/ter, and E/em/eirs.
The university will regularly evaluate this policy and make updates as appropriate.
Will we be able to indicate our Preferred Name and Preferred Pronouns at any time?
Members of the NSU community will have the opportunity to designate a Preferred Name in addition to their Legal Name and Preferred Pronouns at any time. There is no limit on the amount of times a Preferred Name or Preferred Pronouns may be changed.
How long will it take for these changes to be implemented?
This is an automated process that will typically be reflected in applicable NSU information systems and records within 24 hours of submission. Not all university information systems, databases, and processes may be able to store or display a Preferred Name or Preferred Pronouns, and there may be situations requiring the use of an individual’s Legal Name.
How can I change my name on my SharkCard to a Preferred Name?
Students, faculty, and staff should submit their Preferred Name in Banner. Please wait 48 hours before going to SharkCard Services to obtain an updated SharkCard.
Find out more details about SharkCard Services.
Is there a charge to obtain a new SharkCard with my Preferred Name?
No. All students, faculty, and staff are allowed a one-time courtesy to obtain a new card with their Preferred Name. All future replacement cards will incur the standard $25 replacement fee.
Do I need to turn in my old SharkCard to get a new card with my Preferred Name?
Yes. You must turn in your old SharkCard to obtain your one-time free replacement card with your Preferred Name. If you do not turn in your old card, you will incur the standard $25 replacement fee.
Am I allowed to retake my photo when obtaining my one-time free replacement card with my Preferred Name?
You are allowed to update your photo when obtaining the card at no additional charge.
Are we now required to reference individuals by their Preferred Pronouns?
Members of the NSU community should always treat one another with respect, dignity, and civility. As such, it is expected that members of the university community, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators, will make good-faith efforts to address individuals by their Preferred Name and Preferred Pronouns reflected in university records when requested and when the use of the legal name is not required to comply with university policy or federal, state, or local laws or regulations.
What happens if someone does not use a Preferred Name or Preferred Pronouns?
While accidental/inadvertent mistakes may occur, members of the university community are not permitted to intentionally refuse to address an individual by their Preferred Name and/or Preferred Pronouns or utilize non-Preferred Names/Pronouns in a harassing or discriminatory manner or any other way that is contrary to NSU policies.
This policy does not mandate that any individual affirm another’s gender identity, only that members of the university community demonstrate respect and politeness to those individuals who have selected a Preferred Name and/or Pronouns by addressing them by the Preferred Name and/or Pronouns that they have requested.
What if someone refuses to respect my Preferred Name and/or Pronouns?
Individuals who believe that their approved Preferred Name and/or Pronouns have not been used in accordance with this policy are encouraged to attempt to resolve that concern informally by communicating the concern directly to the individual or office that has not properly used the Preferred Name and/or Pronouns. If an informal resolution cannot be reached, students should notify their dean or other appropriate personnel from their academic program, while employees should notify the dean or vice president associated with their department or division. If the issue still cannot be resolved, students should contact the dean of students, and employees should contact the Office of Human Resources.
How do I submit a Preferred Name and/or Pronoun change request?
Where will my Preferred Name and Pronouns Appear?
Please refer to the Office of Innovation and Information Technology for a list of applications supporting both Preferred Name and Pronouns.
Who can I contact if I have technical issues and login questions?
SharkIT will handle technical issues and redirect calls to the Office of the University Registrar and/or the Office of Human Resources for non-technical issues.
Where can I get additional information?