To allow students and employees to choose to identify themselves with a preferred name, in addition to their legal name, and provide a consistent preferred name experience across the university.


Willamette University recognizes that some members of the campus community prefer to use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves.

  1. Permissible Use of Preferred Names.  A person’s preferred name will appear instead of the person’s legal name in university-related systems and documents where it is technically feasible and where the use of the legal name is not required by university business or legal need. At this time, University ID cards, network ID’s, and email addresses will continue to reflect a person’s legal name. Consult the Preferred Name Information web page for information regarding preferred name usage in information systems.
  2. Prohibited Use of Preferred Names.  Preferred names shall not be used for the purpose of misrepresentation, avoiding legal obligations, or otherwise in any manner that violates University policies or federal, state, or local laws. Preferred names are subject to review by the Dean of Students and Human Resources, and the university reserves the right to remove any Preferred Name without prior notice if this policy is violated. Abuse or misuse of the preferred name privilege may be subject to disciplinary action.
  3. Impractical Preferred Names. Preferred names using symbols or images are administratively impossible to implement and cannot be used. A person must have both a first and last name; mononyms cannot be used.
  4. Privacy.  Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student’s name, including preferred name, may be disclosed to the public as “directory information” unless the student restricts such disclosure.
  5. Access to Legal Name. University employees with an administrative need (e.g., Registrar, Financial Aid, Human Resources, etc.) will have access to both a person’s legal and preferred name.


Students may specify or update a preferred name using Colleague Self Service.  Employees may specify or update a preferred name using Workday.  Newly specified or updated preferred names will appear in most information systems within 24 hours.  Students should make any changes to their preferred name at least two weeks prior to the start of a term, to assist the university in use of their preferred name during the term. Consult the Preferred Name Information web page for information regarding preferred name usage in information systems.


Status: This policy was approved in 2019
Effective Date: 7/1/2019
Last Review Date: 7/1/2019
Next Anticipated Review: 7/1/2020
Responsible Person/Primary Contact: Chief Information Officer
Responsible University Office: WITS

Willamette University

Willamette Integrated Technology Services

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6004 voice
503-375-5456 fax

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