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 that 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 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. A preferred name is a name the individual wishes to be commonly known as, if different from his or her legal name. 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. The individual's preferred name will be shown:
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 that 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 diploma, official and unofficial transcript, DARs, 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 staff involved with the departments affected by preferred name change.
Can I change my email address to better match my preferred name?Not necessarily. With a preferred name change and the email naming conventions, an individual’s email may change to reflect the preferred name.
May I request an MSUM individual ID with my preferred name?Yes.
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?A deferred name change will not be reflected immediately or for all departments. Timelines are available:
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 your first semester has started. You must be an active student to request a preferred name.
May I specify a preferred middle or last name?Yes.
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 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 the Name Change request with Human Resources.
A preferred name is a name an individual wishes to be known as, especially if this name is different their legal first, middle, and last name. A legal name is the name an individual has on official documents (ie: drivers license, social security card, passport).
I have more questions about my preferred name and/or the Preferred Name Policy, who can I contact?You may contact: