The University of Michigan 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 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 most 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.
The legal name will continue to be used where required by law or university requirements. All student information will continue to be linked to both legal name and preferred name for the purposes of university records.
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 is possible.
Preferred name will appear at the top of the person's MCommunity Directory profile. It will also appear under Also Known As. For details about the directory profile, see Managing Your Profile in the MCommunity Directory. 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 primary name.
How to Create/Change Preferred First Name
Preferred names are collected during the online application process for admission. Preferred names can also be created, changed or deleted in the Student Information System:
- Click on "Edit" to edit your Personal Details
- Make your desired changes and click "Update"
Faculty and staff may also wish to replace their legal name in their MCommunity Directory profile. This is done by setting a preferred name in Wolverine Access. The preferred name entered in Wolverine Access takes precedence over the preferred name entered in the Student Information System.
Places Where Legal First Name Will Appear
|Diploma||SEVIS (immigration status reporting)|
|Enrollment/Degree Verification||Student Accounts|
|Federal and State Agency Reporting||VA Certification|
Places Where Preferred First Name Will Appear
|Degree Works||Student Information System (Banner)|
The Student Information System allows students, faculty, and staff to select from 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 are not synchronized from Wolverine Access to the Student Information System. Canvas uses the pronoun entered in the Student Information System.
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