U-M Preferred Names Policy

What Is a Preferred Name?

You may prefer to be called by a name that is different from your legal name. You may wish to have this name replace your legal name in your university records and documents. The university allows you to do this by setting a preferred name in the appropriate university system. Some records, such as paychecks, medical records, and signing legal documents that require use of a legal name may not accept a preferred name; however, your preferred name will be used whenever possible.

Preferred Names Policy

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 they want 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?

Students and employees of all 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

Faculty/Staff (all campuses) and UM-Ann Arbor Students

  1. Go to Wolverine Access.
  • Students: Select Student Business.
  • Faculty, staff, and some sponsored affiliates (those with regular uniqnames and UMIDs): Select Faculty Business or Employee Self Service.
  1. Log in and click Campus Personal Information.
  2. Click the Names tab.
  3. Click the Add a new name button.
  4. Select Preferred Name of Record in the Name Type field.
  5. Enter your preferred name in First Name, Middle Name, and Last Name fields. (Prefix is not required)

Note: Enter the name(s) using mixed case. If your preferred name of record is only a single name, enter a period (.) in the First Name field and enter the name in the Last Name field.

  1. Click Save.

UM-Dearborn Students

Preferred names are collected during the online application process for admission and they can be created, changed or deleted in the Student Information System.

  1. Log in to the Student Information System.
  2. Click Edit to edit your Personal Details.
  3. Make your desired changes and click Update.

For more information, visit UM-Dearborn Preferred Name.

UM-Flint Students

Fill out the Personal Information Update through your Student Information Systems (SIS) under the Personal Information tab.

For more information, visit UM-Flint Office of the Registrar > Student Rights.


Contact the Office of University Development to request an update to your Preferred Name.

Sponsored Affiliates

If you have a U-M Sponsorship and do not also have an affiliation with U-M as a student or employee, contact your Sponsorship Administrator to update your name in the Sponsor System.

Last Updated: 
Thursday, December 21, 2023