Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) is dedicated to embedding and supporting diversity in every facet of the institution. Creating an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to select the first, middle, and last name that best matches their self-identification is just one of many ways MSUM is committed to creating an inclusive environment for the campus community. We see this policy as part of our core values – Heart.
Why preferred names?A preferred name is a name an individual wishes to be known as, especially if this name is different from their legal first, middle, and last name. Referring to someone using the names and pronouns they most identify with is important to creating a safe and inclusive campus climate and community. The ability to indicate a preferred first name can be helpful to any faculty, staff, or student who wishes to consistently go by a name other than their legal name.
What is the difference between a preferred name and a legal name?A preferred name is a name an individual wishes to be known as, especially if this name is different from their legal first, middle, and last name. A legal name is the name an individual has on official documents (ie: driver’s license, social security card, passport).
Individuals who are in the process of updating their gender and/or marital status may also change their preferred last names. However, it would not change their primary or legal name unless you file a Name Change request with the Registrar’s office. An employee may file a Name Change request with Human Resources.
Preferred name change requests takes approximately 5 business days to be implemented in the various university systems, with the exception of the Dean’s List, Commencement program, and Diploma. For your preferred name to appear in the Commencement program and on your Diploma, you must have your preferred name request on file or submitted by November 1st for Fall graduation and April 1st for Spring graduation.
Students may receive physical mail and email in both their legal and preferred name. For example, correspondence from the Office of Scholarship & Financial Aid typically uses legal names for students when communicating via mail or email. Other university department communications, such as postcards with important dates from the Business Services department, may use a student’s preferred name. Each individual university department is responsible for their own mailings, so we cannot guarantee when preferred name or legal name may be used.
How do I set or update my preferred name?You may set or update your preferred name by completing the name change request.
May I set or change my preferred name to whatever I want?Individuals may determine and set a preferred name they want to be known by in the Minnesota State system. Minnesota State University Moorhead reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is being used for misrepresentation or evading legal obligations. If you have further questions, please contact:
Do I have to provide and set a preferred name?No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional.
What do I do if I am both a student and an employee?Submitting one name change request will change your preferred name in both employee and student records. If you have further questions, please contact:
Will my preferred name be used for everything at the university and who will have access?
No. The individual's legal name will continue to appear on their official and unofficial transcript, and any documentation involving financial aid or individual accounts. When conducting official University business, the individual’s legal name will be used.
An individual’s preferred name will be accessible to any faculty or staff with access to university student information systems.
Can I change my email address to better match my preferred name?When a preferred name change is approved, you may request your email change to reflect the preferred name by contacting the MSUM IT Help Desk. The new email with preferred name will still match the standard email naming convention, which is the student's first name period last name (example: firstname.lastname@example.org). If there is a situation where that email is already taken then a number will be added to follow your last name (example: email@example.com).
May I request an MSUM individual ID with my preferred name?Yes. Visit the Dragon Card office located at the MSUM IT Help Desk.
Will I be able to use my preferred name on D2L Brightspace?Yes.
How long will it take for my preferred name to appear and be used by the university?Preferred name change requests takes approximately 5 business days to be implemented in the various university systems, with the exception of the Dean’s List, Commencement program, and Diploma. For your preferred name to appear in the Commencement program and on your Diploma, you must have your preferred name request on file or submitted by November 1st for Fall graduation and April 1st for Spring graduation.
I have applied or been accepted to MSUM and will be attending in the future. How do I submit a preferred name?You may request a preferred name once you have been officially admitted to MSUM.
May I specify a preferred middle or last name?Yes.
I have more questions about my preferred name and/or the Preferred Name Policy, who can I contact?You may contact: