The U-M Preferred Name Policy and Your Directory Entry

This document explains the U-M Preferred Names Policy and its effect on your MCommunity Directory profile. It also provides instructions for setting a preferred name.

What Is a Preferred Name?

You may prefer to be called a name that is different from your legal name. Also, you may wish to have this name replace your legal name in your MCommunity Directory profile and in other university records and documents. The university allows you to do this by setting a preferred name. You must set the preferred name in Wolverine Access, and it will then appear in your directory profile and other records. Some records, such as paychecks, that require use of a legal name, may not accept a preferred name. However, whenever possible, your preferred name will be used.

The Preferred Names Policy

The policy text appears as follows:

The university recognizes that as a community many of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a "preferred name" can and should be used wherever possible in the course of university business and education.

Therefore, it is the policy of the university that any student, active or retired faculty or staff member, or alumni may choose to identify themselves within the university's information systems with a preferred name in addition to the person's legal name. It is further understood that the person's preferred name shall be used in all university communications and reporting except where the use of the legal name is required by university business or legal need.

The individual is free to determine the preferred name he or she wants to be known by in the university's information systems. However, inappropriate use of the preferred name policy (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying the request.

Who Can Set a Preferred Name?

Because preferred names are set using Wolverine Access, only those individuals with access to Wolverine Access can set preferred names. Students on the Ann Arbor campus and employees of the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses can set preferred names. Sponsored affiliates who have Wolverine Access entries (regular uniqnames and UMIDs) can also set preferred names.

Setting a Preferred Name in Wolverine Access

Tip Use Wolverine Access to set your preferred name online. Students can do this under Student Business, and faculty, staff and some sponsored affiliates can do it under Employee Business or Employee Self Service.

Display of Your Preferred Name in Your Directory Profile

Your preferred name will appear at the top of your MCommunity Directory profile. It will also appear under Also Known As. For details about your directory profile, see The Managing Your Profile in the MCommunity Directory.

Preferred Names FAQ

  1. Can any member of the U-M community set a preferred name?
    No. Because preferred names are set using Wolverine Access, only those individuals with permissions for Wolverine Access can set preferred names. Students on the Ann Arbor campus and employees of the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, as well as some sponsored affiliates, can set preferred names.

  2. How do I set a preferred name?
    Use Wolverine Access. Students can do this under Student Business, and faculty and staff can do it under Employee Business or Employee Self Service.

  3. Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?
    Yes, but the university reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately (such as for misrepresentation).

  4. Can I use my preferred name for everything at the university?
    No. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as for payroll records and student transcripts.

  5. I set a preferred name and later changed it to something else in Wolverine Access. Why does my old preferred name still show up in the list of Also Known As names in my directory profile? How can I get rid of it?
    When you set a preferred name in Wolverine Access, that name is added to the list of Also Known As names in your directory profile. If you wish to have a name deleted from your list of Also Known As names, you can contact the ITS Service Center.

  6. I don't want my legal name to show up in my MCommunity Directory profile. How can I hide it?
    Your legal name will continue to be displayed in the list of Also Known As names in your directory profile, even if you have set a preferrred name. Contact the ITS Service Center. to request that it be hidden.

  7. How do I correct or change my legal name for university systems?

    Students can contact the Registrar's Office (ro.registration.questions@umich.edu or 647-3507).

    Employees can file a legal name change by completing the Address/Personal Data Form available on the HRRIS Forms Online page or by contacting the HR/Payroll Service Center (615-2000 or toll-free at 1-866-647-7657).

    Last Updated: 
    Friday, April 7, 2017