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Faculty Communication

Talking with your faculty, teaching/lab assistants and advisors about your preferred name and pronouns can be anxiety producing – even if it turns out fine, anticipating the process and coming out repeatedly can be tiring. If you would like assistance in speaking to your faculty about your preferred name and pronouns, we can provide support by:

  1. Helping you think ahead about and develop approaches to those conversations,
  2. Writing a short letter for you to give to your faculty, TAs, advisors,
  3. Writing the same short letter and sending it to your faculty, TAs, advisors for you.
  4. Answering questions that faculty, TAs , Advisors or staff may have – including Trans 101 – and serving as a resource.

1. Helping you think ahead about and develop approaches to those conversations
Kelly Garrett, the coordinator of the LGBTQ Center, has experience with faculty communication, as well as with education, support and advocacy.  You should feel free to contact her or stop by the LGBTQ Center to talk about how best you can manage your needs and conversations with your faculty.

2/3. Providing a short letter for your faculty, TAs, etc.
If you wish to have expressed institutional support, we can provide a letter to faculty, or others, that supports your preferred name and pronouns.  This letter is signed by a dean in Student Life and the coordinator of the LGBTQ Center, who also indicate in the letter that they are willing to answer questions and to connect the faculty member with other faculty who have successfully managed their classes with similar requests in the past.

To request letters, please use this electronic form, which will allow you to indicate your preferred name and pronouns, and to list the courses and names of faculty, TAs or Advisors for whom you would like a letter.  We will contact you about your request in order to have you review the letter before it is sent and to verify your class information.  You can decide if you would rather have the letter(s):

  • Sent by us directly to your faculty, TA's, etc., or
  • Printed out so that you may pick them up --  if you would like to deliver the letters to faculty and others, possibly in the context of a discussion regarding your needs and preferences in the course.

Keep in mind you are also welcome to meet in person with a dean in the Office of Student Life or with the director of the LGBTQ Center to discuss your options, preferences, etc.

4. Answering questions from faculty/TAs/Advisors and serving as a resource

Kelly Garrett, the coordinator of the LGBTQ Center, and Gail Cohee, director of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center and Gender Studies faculty, serve as resources and will answer questions that instructors and advisors have – from Trans 101 to thinking ahead about and responding to classroom dynamics.