Skip to content

Human Resources

A great place to work

You can’t have a great place without great people, and Virginia Commonwealth University is no exception. The faculty, staff and students make it the wonderful place it is today. Your everyday work is directly connected to VCU’s mission, core values and strategic direction which means you are tremendously valuable to the university. Our goal is to create an environment that offers meaningful work in a place of opportunity, where your success is supported and your career thrives. 

Call Me By My Name project


At VCU, we are committed to putting our values into action. One of the ways that we make inclusion real is by recognizing that individuals have the right to use names other than their legal name, to identify with the gender they know themselves to be and to utilize the pronouns that best fit them. For example, people may use a name that: affirms their gender identity, is a middle name, is an anglicized name, is a birth or marital name, or is a nickname. 

Through the Call Me By My Name Initiative, VCU allows individuals to provide their name/name of use, gender/gender identity and pronouns. VCU uses the language of “name of use,” to recognize that everyone has the right to use the name they choose without having to explain or justify that decision.

When possible, VCU will refer to individuals by their name of use. However, employees have information records feeding several systems that require use of a legal name, including but not limited to: IRS, Immigration, and Health and Retirement Benefits systems. Additionally, these systems may also record other names by which you are known. VCU will utilize your legal name (regardless of your designated name of use) for all systems for which it is required to do so.

Even though you don’t have to offer an explanation about your Name of Use, the name change may prompt questions from your manager and colleagues. It will be important for you to communicate to your manager and colleagues your Name of Use by simply stating:

  • “Please call me [NAME of USE].”
  • “I prefer to be called [NAME of USE].”

Also, make sure that your signature line in your email reflects your Name of Use and preferred pronouns. In accordance with our Core Values of “ensuring a climate of mutual trust and respect” we are committed to an environment where each member of the VCU community respects and uses another individual’s chosen Name of Use.

Entering a name of use that is different than your legal name is a significant decision. A change of this type impacts a large number of systems and processes both at VCU and beyond. For more information about this initiative and how to enter a name of use, please visit the Call Me By My Name website. You may also contact or your HR Professional with questions.

View graphic version