Preferred Name and Pronouns

The University of Michigan, including UM-Dearborn, recognizes that many people use names and pronouns other than their legal ones to identify themselves and affirms that preferred names and pronouns can and should be used wherever possible throughout the university. Under university policy, students, staff, and faculty may set a preferred name (in addition to their legal name) and pronouns in the university’s information systems. The preferred name will be used in most communication and reporting except where the legal name is required, either by law or by the university.

Preferred Name

Preferred names are collected in the online admissions process and may be created, changed, or deleted by the individual in the system afterward at any time. Anyone is free to choose 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. For the purpose of university records, university and personal information will proceed to be linked to both the individual’s legal and preferred name.

Preferred names will be used in the following areas: My UM-Dearborn, MCard, Degree Works, Student Information System (Banner), Canvas, MCommunity, Class rosters, Admissions Communications, and University Email.


The UM-Dearborn Student Information System (Banner) allows students, faculty, and staff to select from one of three options for pronouns:

  • he/him/his (ex. He is a student at UM-Dearborn.)
  • she/her/hers (ex. She is a student at UM-Dearborn.)
  • they/them/theirs (ex. They are a student at UM-Dearborn.)

Pronouns entered into the student information system will be used in other areas where possible, though pronouns may need to be set individually in many systems at this time.

Legal Name

Even if a preferred name is set for a user, the following items or systems are required to use a legal name instead of the preferred name:

Diplomas, SEVIS (immigration status reporting), Enrollment/Degree Verification, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Transcripts, Federal and State Agency Reporting, Veterans Affairs Certification, Human Resources/Employment

Changing your Preferred Name or Pronouns

UM-Dearborn users who wish to change their preferred name or pronouns should do so in up to three different systems to ensure the correct information is used in as many areas as possible:

The Student Information System (Banner)

UM-Dearborn students, faculty, and staff should set their preferred name and pronouns in the student information system. The information entered in the student information system will be used by most UM-Dearborn systems.

To change your preferred name in the student information system:

  1. Login to the personal information section of the student information system
  2. Click on "Edit" to edit your Personal Details
  3. Make your desired changes and click "Update"


UM-Dearborn students, faculty, and staff should set their preferred name in the Chosen Name field and pronouns in the Pronouns field in MCommunity. Preferred names will appear at the top of the person's MCommunity Directory profile and under Also Known As. Pronouns will appear beneath the person's name.

For details about setting information in MCommunity, see the About Your MCommunity Profile: View and Edit page.

The legal name will continue to be displayed in the list of Also Known As names in the directory profile, even if a preferred name is utilized. Contact the ITS Service Center (734-764-4357) to request hiding of the legal name.

Wolverine Access (Faculty, Staff, and Student Employees Only)

UM-Dearborn faculty, staff, and student employees should also set their preferred name and pronouns in Wolverine Access. The preferred name entered in Wolverine Access will be used by Human Resources and other central U-M systems. Users must set their preferred name and pronouns in Wolverine Access to avoid having changes in the student information system being overwritten by daily system syncs. 

For details about setting information in Wolverine Access, see the preferred name page  and the pronouns page.


If a preferred name change is completed in the systems mentioned above and a new MCard displaying that new preferred name is desired, please contact Kris Day and/or CSJI for the most up to date MCard name change procedures.

Impact to Business Offices

It is recommended that campus offices review the use of names for their internal business processes and reporting. Offices that retrieve name data from the Student Information System and affiliated APIs should develop plans to begin using preferred names as soon as possible.

Office of the Registrar

1169 - James C. Renick University Center
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
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Phone: 313-583-6500
Fax: 313-593-5697