Use of Preferred First Name

Adopted Policy 1.3

Policy Purpose

To allow students, faculty and staff at the University to designate an alternative or Preferred First Name in certain instances.

Responsible Office

Registrar's Office

Responsible Executive

University Registrar

Policy History

  • Date of Interim Approval:
  • Date of Permanent Approval:

Policy Statement

The University at Albany recognizes that some members of the University community prefer to use a first name other than their legal first name, often called a Preferred First Name. The University seeks to allow the use of a Preferred First Name wherever possible, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies and within the capabilities of University administrative systems.

Persons Affected

Students, Faculty, Staff

Definitions

Faculty and Staff is any faculty member of the University or staff employed by the University or a University-related Organization and its subcontractors who are issued University at Albany identification cards.

Preferred First Name is an alternative first name designated by a student, faculty member, University or University-related Organization staff for use in certain situations and/or on certain University documents.

Student is a current student registered for classes at the University at Albany.

University is the University at Albany, State University of New York.

University ID is the identification card issued by the University to access University documents and services including but not limited to door access, bus access, meal plan access, and access to recreation services. The University ID may include future cards with different names.

University-related Organization or Organization(s) is one or all of the following entities associated with the University: University at Albany Foundation, Research Foundation for State University of New York, University Auxiliary Services at Albany, Inc., University at Albany Bioscience Development Corporation, Alumni Association of the State University of New York at Albany, Empire Commons Student Housing, Inc., Student Association State University of New York at Albany, Inc., University at Albany Graduate Student Association.

Policy

  1. Student use of a Preferred First Name
    1. Students may designate a Preferred First Name as permitted by the procedures to be promulgated under this policy.
    2. Students will have the option to change their Preferred First Name or remove their Preferred Name at any time.
    3. Entering, changing or eliminating a Preferred First Name can be accomplished via self-service by Students using University systems as outlined in the procedures promulgated under this policy.
    4. The University will make a good faith effort to update University documents and systems that allow the use of Preferred Names in a timely manner.
    5. It is the responsibility of each Student who designates a Preferred First Name to ensure that their professors or instructors are able to identify their work for grading purposes.
    6. Upon entry of a Preferred First Name in University administrative systems, the Preferred First Name will be used in those instances listed in the procedures promulgated under this policy, with the exception of University IDs for which students may choose whether to acquire a University ID with a Preferred First Name.
    7. Students may only have one Preferred First Name at any one time.
  2. Faculty and Staff use of a Preferred First Name
    1. Faculty and Staff may designate a Preferred First Name as permitted by the procedures to be promulgated under this policy.
    2. Faculty and Staff have the option to change their Preferred First Name or remove their Preferred First Name at any time.
    3. Entering, changing or eliminating a Preferred First Name will be accomplished via self-service by Faculty and Staff using University systems as outlined in the procedures to be promulgated under this policy.
    4. The University will make a good faith effort to update University documents and systems that allow the use of Preferred First Names in a timely manner.
    5. Upon entry of a Preferred First Name in University systems, the Preferred First Name will be utilized in those instances listed in the procedures promulgated under this policy, with the exception of University IDs for which Faculty and Staff may choose whether to acquire a University ID with a Preferred First Name.
    6. Faculty and Staff may only have one Preferred First Name at any one time.
  3. Prohibited uses of a Preferred First Name
    1. A Preferred First Name shall not be used for the purpose of misidentification, misrepresentation, fraud, to avoid legal obligations, or in any other manner that violates University, SUNY, local, state or federal policy, law, rules or regulations, including University Community Rights and Responsibilities standards and all employee-related rules and policies. Violations of such polices, laws, rules or regulations shall be addressed through established procedures.
    2. A Preferred First Name may not include symbols or numbers or be otherwise prohibited under the law and/or University policy or procedure, including the University Community Rights and Responsibilities student code of conduct.
    3. The University reserves the right to reject the use of or remove from University administrative systems or documents any Preferred First Name that it deems in its sole judgement to be in violation of this policy.
  4. Miscellaneous
    1. If Students, Faculty or Staff wish to acquire a new University ID containing a Preferred First Name, standard University ID replacement charges shall apply.
    2. Students, Faculty and Staff should be aware that University IDs, especially if issued with a Preferred First Name, may not be considered valid government issued identification and may not be accepted for purposes such as air travel or proof of identity to authorities.
  5. This policy shall be effective immediately upon approval

Procedures

 

  1. Procedures for Student use of a Preferred First Name
    1. Students have the option to change their Preferred First Name or remove their Preferred First Name at any time.
    2. If a Preferred First Name is designated in the University administrative system the Preferred First Name will be displayed on:
      1. Class rosters
      2. Grade rosters
      3. Blackboard
      4. Outlook display name
      5. Windows sign-on display, and
      6. University ID
    3. Legal first name will be displayed on all other University records, documents and instances including, but not limited to:
      1. Transcripts
      2. Diplomas
      3. Financial Aid applications and records
      4. Student Accounts records
      5. Reporting to state and federal agencies
      6. Student employment records
      7. Housing contracts
      8. International student records
      9. Medical records
      10. @albany.edu e-mail address (will continue to use first initial of legal first name – can be changed by submitting a help desk ticket)
    4. Entering, changing or eliminating a Preferred First Name can be accomplished via self-service by Students using University systems as outlined in these procedures.
    5. To enter, change, or remove a Student Preferred First Name on the University at Albany system, follow the instructions on-line at https://www.albany.edu/registrar/registrar_assets/How_Do_I_Modify_My_Preferred_1st_Name.pdf
    6. To have a Preferred First Name included on or removed from a University ID, go to the University ID Card Office and request a new University ID.  Normal University ID card replacement fees will apply. NOTE: A Preferred First Name must be designated in the University administrative system as instructed at least two (2) business days PRIOR to requesting the use of a Preferred First Name on a University ID and the same Preferred First Name designated in the University administrative system must be used on a University ID.
    7. Students can have one Preferred First Name at any one time.
    8. Students are not required to obtain a University ID with a Preferred First Name even if they designate a Preferred First Name in the University administrative system.
    9. By default, if a Student has designated a Preferred First Name and is receiving a new or replacement University ID, the Preferred First Name will be printed on the University ID.
    10. Student legal first name will remain unchanged in all other instances and on documents not listed above as eligible for Preferred First Name. 
    11. Students who are State employees at the University (including but not limited to work study, student assistants, and graduate and teaching assistants) should also follow the Faculty and Staff procedures for entering, changing, or removing a Preferred First Name.  Student employees who follow only the Faculty and Staff procedures will successfully update all areas listed in section A (2) and (3) of this document in addition to HR areas listed in section B (2) of this document.  Students with non-State employment on campus (e.g., Research Foundation, food service provider or other vendor) should follow the Procedures for Student use of a Preferred First Name.
       
  2. Procedures for Faculty and Staff use of a Preferred First Name
    1. Faculty and Staff have the option to change their Preferred First Name or remove their Preferred First Name at any time.
    2. If a Preferred First Name is designated in the University administrative system the Preferred First Name will be displayed on:
      1. Class Roster
      2. Grade Roster
      3. Blackboard
      4. Faculty/Staff on-line directory
      5. Outlook display name
      6. Windows sign-on display
      7. University ID, and
      8. Online time and attendance system
    3. Legal first name will be displayed on all other University records, documents and instances including, but not limited to:
      1. Reporting to state and federal agencies
      2. Payroll records
      3. Tax forms and reporting
      4. Visa or immigration records
      5. Employee benefits enrollment and forms
      6. Other records where a legal name is required by law or University policy
      7. @albany.edu e-mail address (will continue to use first initial of legal first name – can be changed by submitting a help desk ticket)
    4. To enter, change, or remove a Faculty and Staff Preferred First Name go to https://www.albany.edu/hr/preferred-name.php  
    5. To have a Preferred First Name included on or removed from a University ID, go to the University ID Card Office and request a new University ID. Normal University ID card replacement fees will apply. NOTE: A Preferred First Name must be entered into the University system as instructed at least two (2) business days PRIOR to requesting the use of a Preferred First Name on a University ID and the same Preferred First Name designated in the University administrative system must be used on a University ID.
    6. Faculty and Staff can have one Preferred First Name at any one time. 
    7. Faculty and Staff are not required to obtain a University ID with a Preferred First Name even if they designate a Preferred First Name in the University administrative system.
    8. By default, if a Faculty and Staff has designated a Preferred First Name and is receiving a new or replacement University ID, the Preferred First Name will be printed.
    9. Faculty and Staff legal first name will remain unchanged in all other instances and on documents not listed above as eligible for Preferred First Name.