Education for Employees

Education for Northeastern University Employees

Academic Freedom

For more information on the Rights in Teaching, Research, and Scholarship, visit the NU handbook page on Academic Freedom.

Syllabus Guidance

For Pronouns:

If you are interested in including language on your syllabus, here is a suggestion:

“We have an opportunity in this class to hear from people with different viewpoints and open some lines of communication about difficult or emotional topics. All opinions are welcome, as long as they are grounded in evidence and presented respectfully. I reserve the right to manage, intercede, side-line, or stop a conversation if it is leading us too far off track or if it is disrespectful to others. My name is ________ and I use the pronouns she, her and hers. Pronouns are the parts of speech we use to refer to someone instead of their name. Using the right pronoun, like using someone’s correct name or title, is a way to show respect.”

For Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from sex or gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on gender-identity, in educational programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

Northeastern University and its faculty are committed to creating a safe and open learning environment for all students. If you or someone you know has experienced a Prohibited Offense including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking, please know that help and support are available. Northeastern strongly encourages all members of the community to take action, seek support, and report incidents of Prohibited Offenses to the Title IX Coordinator within The Office for University Equity and Compliance (OUEC) through the Online Reporting Form(open in new window).

Please be aware that faculty members are Mandatory University Reporters who are required to disclose information about alleged discrimination, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking to the OUEC. If the OUEC receives a report, a member of their office will reach out to offer information about your rights, support resources and pathways towards a resolution as a member of the campus community. Community members are not required to respond to this outreach. If you, or another community member you know wishes to speak to a confidential resource who does not have this reporting responsibility, please contact University Health and Counseling Services, the Center for Spiritual Dialogue and Service clergy members, or the Office of Prevention and Education at Northeastern which is home to the Sexual Violence Resource Center and Confidential Resource Advising. These confidential resources are not required to report allegations of prohibited conduct to the university without your signed release.

Gender Identity and Pronouns in the Classroom

College is a time of self-discovery for many students. When this self-awareness centers around gender identity, it can mean changes to the names and/or pronouns students use. To help create a safer and more inclusive classroom experience for students, please consider adopting some of the following best practices in your classes.

  1. Include pronouns in your introduction, syllabus and email signature. This not only helps students know how to refer to you, it also sets an inclusive tone that makes it safer for students to share their pronouns. (Ex: “I’m Dr. Smith and I use the pronouns she, her and hers. Pronouns are the parts of speech we use to refer to someone instead of their name. Using the right pronoun, like using someone’s correct name, is a way to show respect.”)
  2. Allow students to self-identify their name and pronouns. If their name is different than what appears on the roster, privately let the student know their option to change their name in use. This can be done via guidelines on the Northeastern LGBTQA Resource Center website.
  3. Honor the name and pronouns a student uses in all settings, even when the student isn’t present.
  4. Politely correct those who mis-gender students (whether the student is present or not), including yourself.
  5. Familiarize yourself with gender neutral pronouns, such as the singular they (which can be both a personal pronoun, and a safe option when someone’s pronoun is unknown).
  6. Do not disclose a student’s gender identity unless you have obtained their consent.
  7. Do not ask personal questions of trans and gender non-conforming people that you would not ask of others.