University to allow preferred names

Metropolitan State will begin the use of preferred names for students, faculty and staff through a new procedure being implemented in January. University community members may request the use of a preferred name using this form.

Metropolitan State, as a member of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, recognizes and supports community members who wish to use preferred names where legally permissible. A preferred name is a name that a person has chosen to identify with that is different, in whole or in part, from their legal name. This is a significant milestone that will afford persons greater ability to self-identify using their preferred name.

Examples of preferred names include:

  • Transgender individuals may prefer to use a name that reflects the identity they are presenting
  • International individuals may prefer to use a “Western” name
  • Nicknames may be preferred: Dan versus Daniel, Betsy versus Elizabeth

In July 2015, MnSCU adopted a procedure by which individuals in the system may designate a preferred name to be used in the course of system business and education. MnSCU is beginning a phased implementation of the preferred name procedure.

Students, faculty and staff members will generally be permitted to designate any preferred name, including first, middle and/or last name. The system reserves the right to deny an inappropriate preferred name including, but not limited to those that: avoid legal obligations, misrepresent, or violate other system policies. Preferred names may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes and thus may not be a company name, group name or message.

The goal of the preferred name procedure is a consistent preferred name experience across the system and use of one’s preferred name wherever a legal name is not required.

Starting in January, Metropolitan State begins collecting names from students or other members of its community who choose to identify themselves within information systems with a preferred name in addition to legal name. The individual’s preferred name shall be used whenever feasible and legally possible as part of a rolling implementation schedule.

The first phase allows preferred names to be used in the following:

  • Students/employees homepage on D2L
  • Students/employees e‐services homepage
  • Email account (unless your email account uses your StarID)
  • Online directory
  • Class rosters, advisee list, grade & LDA (last date of attendance) entry, wait list report and grade change request
  • Faculty advisee lists

A future phase (implementation date to be determined) extends the use of a preferred name to other areas:

  • Student invoice
  • Timecards
  • Diploma
  • Honors program lists
  • Commencement programs
  • Alumni Office records
  • Student ID Card
  • Library records

Legal name must continue to be used for the following:

  • Official and unofficial transcripts
  • Paychecks and pay stubs
  • Financial Aid records
  • Official correspondence from the college/university
  • Tax Forms
  • Federal immigration documents
  • SEVIS records
  • I‐9’s
  • International student documentation

Use this form to request use of a preferred name; identification is required for security purposes. The form must be submitted in person or be notarized if submitted via mail.

  • Students and alumni should submit the request to any Gateway location.
  • Faculty and staff should submit the request to Human Resources, Saint Paul Campus, Founders Hall, Suite 318.

For more information, students can contact Gateway at 651-793-1300; faculty and staff can email Human Resources or call 651-793-1275.