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Senate Advisory Committee on Academic Policy Report on Gender-Specific Pronouns in University Regulations


Background

In SACAP’s October 20, 2021 meeting, the committee voted to investigate removing he/she and
him/her language from University regulations in order to make the regulations more inclusive.
The committee found that there are over 50 university regulations that include gender-specific
pronouns such as “he”, “she”, “his”, “him”, and “her.” The inclusion of these gender-specific
pronouns is not aligned with the University’s core value of Diversity, which states that “the U
celebrates the rich diversity of people as well as creative and intellectual traditions by being
inclusive in every respect.” In addition, University Rule R1-001 Oversight and Development of
University Regulations states that “policy language should avoid gender-specific pronouns.”

Action

In SACAP’s December 2, 2021 meeting, the committee agreed to bring a resolution to the
Academic Senate Executive committee for consideration for inclusion in the Consent Calendar
for the January Academic Senate Meeting, with a possible advancement for a Senate vote of
support. The Committee voted via email to advance the following resolution.

Resolution

WHEREAS, one of the University of Utah’s Core Value’s is Diversity, including that “the U
celebrates the rich diversity of people as well as creative and intellectual traditions by being
inclusive in every respect;”

WHEREAS, University regulations affect all members of the campus community;

WHEREAS, some University regulations include gender-specific pronouns, such as “he”, “she”,
“him” “his” and “her”;

WHERAS, Rule R1-001 Oversight and Development of University Regulations states that
“policy language should avoid gender-specific pronouns;” and

WHEREAS, the Senate Academic Policy Committee discussed the issue of gender-specific
pronouns in University regulations in the committee’s October 20, 2021 and December 2, 2021
meetings and recommends:
• replacing gender-specific pronouns with gender-neutral terms in academic policies; and
• suggesting that other policy owners replace gender-specific pronouns with gender-neutral
alternatives in their policies as well.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Academic Senate supports replacing gender-specific pronouns with gender-neutral alternatives in University regulations, with a goal of
completion by the end of the Spring 2022 semester