Email Signatures at the University of South Dakota Censored

John Little, a Native person who works at the University of South Dakota (USD), recently faced a challenging decision. He was forced to remove his tribal affiliation and gender pronouns from his university email signature. The University cited a violation of a South Dakota Board of Regents policy concerning communications and branding12.

Here are the details:

The policy in question (1.7.6) limits the information that USD employees can include in an email signature. While it explicitly allows for contact information such as name, job title, email address, and phone number, it does not explicitly mention “pronouns” or “tribal affiliation.” However, it prohibits other information, graphics, or links not explicitly listed in the policy1.

After consulting with legal services, John Little and Megan Red Shirt-Shaw removed their tribal affiliations and pronouns from their email signatures. This decision has left them deeply disappointed in the University’s actions.

Here are some fan submitted screen shots about the issue:

Email Signatures at the University of South Dakota Censored

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