Dear Stanford community,

I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful winter break, and I want to wish you all the best in the new year.

Recognizing our community members by their appropriate gender is an important step in creating the environment of diversity, belonging and inclusivity that we want to build at Stanford. I’m pleased to announce a project that does just this. As part of the IDEAL initiative, Stanford is launching the Gender Data Enablement Project. The project aims to improve how our information technology and systems collect and share gender and pronoun information with other systems by adding more inclusive options.

The first phase of this project is information-gathering. The project team will be conducting interviews and workshops with students, faculty, postdocs, staff, and alumni, as well as researching the capabilities and considerations around core campus systems, policies, privacy, functional business needs and data reporting requirements.

If you would like to participate in this first phase, please fill out this short questionnaire. Participation is open to students, postdocs, faculty, staff and alumni and is completely voluntary.

The goals of the project are to:

  • Add gender data attributes, such as pronouns and gender options, to campus IT systems to be more inclusive of trans, queer and non-binary community members
  • Make that data available so that Stanford community members can be respectfully recognized in campus settings by their appropriate gender
  • Ensure that all personal information entered by students, staff and faculty is properly protected
  • Inform students, staff and faculty about how and where their data may be used, for example, in other Stanford systems
  • Develop more inclusive institutional reporting that is representative of Stanford’s diverse community

Our plans for initial implementation:

  • Axess for students will include new self-selection gender data options – pronouns and gender identity
  • Class rosters for faculty will include pronouns
  • Housing assignments will include gender-inclusive self-service options for undergraduate students

This effort has been many months in the making and now, with new capabilities in the updated student information system, we have an opportunity to begin implementation. We will move forward on the student system now and will implement similar changes for faculty and staff when we update additional university systems in the coming years.

I would like to thank the members of the Gender Data @ Stanford (GD@S) Working Group and Gender Inclusive Stanford (GIS) who initiated and championed the Gender Enablement Project.

By thoughtfully and purposefully enabling gender data in our systems we can help ensure that Stanford community members are recognized by their appropriate gender in respectful and inclusive ways.

For more information on the project, visit the IDEAL website or email


Patrick H. Dunkley,
Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access, and Community