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Chief information security officer co-writes article on supporting student gender identity


Theresa Semmens, NDSU chief information security officer, co-wrote an article for the EDUCAUSE Review on implementing processes in information technology systems to support students’ gender identities.

The article, titled “Supporting Students’ Gender Identity: An IT Perspective,” focused on key issues to consider when implementing policies and processes that let students set preferred names and pronouns that align with their self-identities.

Other co-authors included David Bantz, University of Alaska; Geoffrey Nathan, Wayne State University; Andrea Nixon, Carleton College; and Renee Wells, North Carolina State University. They wrote the article following a May 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the Department of Education regarding protections for transgender students required under Title IX.

As a reflection of NDSU’s commitment to diversity, preferred names set by students, faculty and staff now appear in widely-used online services. These include the university’s email system, Blackboard learning management system and online directory. Students can set their preferred names through Campus Connection, while faculty and staff can set theirs using the HR Employee Self Service system. More information about how to set preferred names is available on the Information Technology Services website.

Semmens has served as chief information security officer at NDSU since 2003. She provides oversight and coordination for the university’s information security strategy and program, which encompasses security policies, procedures and risk management.

She has a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and master’s degrees in management and in business administration. She has been a certified information systems auditor since 2003 and is an active volunteer for EDUCAUSE, REN-ISAC and Internet2.

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North Dakota State University
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