Wayne State University Preferred Name Project

What is a preferred name?

Wayne State University recognizes that some of those associated with the university prefer to be addressed by names different from their legal name. Provided that the preferred name is not intended to be used for purposes of misrepresentation, faculty, staff and students have the ability to register a preferred name, which will be used in all university documents and electronic displays that do not require the use of the legal name. Please note that this is not the same as the legal name, which will continue to be used for transcripts, bank accounts, financial aid, federal or state tax reporting, teacher certification and so on.

Rules on choice of preferred name

All individuals have the right to choose their own preferred name, but the university reserves the right to deny the choice if it believes the purpose is inappropriate (such as to avoid a legal obligation or to misrepresent, or the name is vulgar, offensive, obscene or fanciful).

University use of preferred name

The preferred name will appear on class lists, Canvas, advisement screens and the OneCard. Please note that the name on OneCard may differ from the name on legal identification documents such as passports and driver's licenses, which may raise issues if the holder is attempting to use both to establish identity. The university will make a best effort to restrict the display of legal names to those with a need to view them, but cannot guarantee that only the preferred name will appear in all appropriate applications at all times.

Registering a preferred name

The preferred name is chosen through the Account Management section of Academica. Any person with a Wayne State AccessID can set a preferred name.

Preferred Name Committee

Anthony Eid, Student, Graduate School, Student Senate President
Bhavani Koneru, Director, Administrative Applications
David Strauss, Dean of Students
Kevin Hayes, Director, Information Security
Kurt Kruschinska, Registrar
Marquita Chamblee, Associate Provost for Diversity/Inclusion
Michael Barnes, Associate Professor, Theatre
Nikki Wright, Director, EEOC
Robert Thompson, Director of Academic Core and Intelligence Applications
Tom Cavalier, Associate General Counsel
Marissa Burns Student, Co-President of JIGSAW
Geoff Nathan, Chief Privacy Officer

*This initiative was begun in response to queries from student and other campus groups representing the LGBTQ community, which requested that Wayne State University develop a preferred name process. It was further spurred by receipt of a "Dear Colleague" letter from the U.S. Department of Education: https://www.naspa.org/constituent-groups/posts/Affirming-Supportive-Environments-for-Transgender-Students

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a preferred name?

    A preferred name is simply that – a name a student wishes to be known by when they attend class, receive most services at the university and communicate with the university. This enhancement is designed to create a safe and welcoming environment on campus, where students know their identity is important to the university, its faculty and its staff. 

  • Where will a preferred name be displayed?

    The university will display a student’s preferred name in Academica, in Blackboard, on class rosters and grading sheets, in WAMS as well as on the display board in the Student Service Center.  We are working to have it displayed in Degree Works and STARS.  While all of these systems may not be available at the start of Winter 2017, we expect to make progress as the semester goes on.  Students will have an the ability to customize their email address as well. Communications will start to come to you under your preferred name.

  • Where won’t a preferred name be displayed?

    The university will not use a preferred name for any legal purpose – issuing of financial aid checks, tax documents, paychecks, etc.  It will not appear on information transmitted to the National Student Clearinghouse for enrollment and degree verifications, and it will not appear on your transcript. If you have legally changed your name, you can follow the normal process with the Office of the Registrar using the Name Change form.

  • Can I get a new OneCard?

    Name Change

    If a patron's legal name changes or a person would like a new card to reflect their preferred name, this is considered a replacement card and the replacement card fee of $20 will be assessed. Acceptable forms of payment include funds from your OneCard, check or money order in the office, or cash at the Cashier's Office with a receipt as proof of payment. In order for the Preferred Name to show on your OneCard you must update it in Academica and then wait 48 hrs for our system to update.

  • How do I provide the university my preferred name?

    It’s easy. Just follow these simple steps.

    1. Log in to Academica.
    2. Under the “Settings” menu, select “Account Management.”
    3. Select “Set Your Preferred Name” from the Account Management menu.
    4. Enter your first and last name in the appropriate boxes, middle name is optional. Letters only – numbers and symbols cannot be entered.
    5. Select “Next.”
    6. You will see your entries. If you want to make a change, you can select “Back.” Otherwise, select “Submit.”
    7. You will receive a confirmation through your WSU email. Please allow up to 48 hours for changes to be made throughout the university systems that have been modified.

    If you want to change your personalized email name or create a preferred email address, you should select those options in the Account Management menu and follow the instructions there.

  • Will a student's preferred name appear on the forms in Banner?

    Banner has not been modified to display the preferred name on the forms – we are expecting the vendor to make these changes in an upcoming release. 

  • How do I find a student’s preferred name in Banner?

    Start a search for a student on the SPAIDEN form. Once you enter the student’s Banner ID or access ID, click on the “Alternate Identification” tab.  Look for the record where the Name Type = “PREF.”  The most recent one is the student’s preferred name. 

  • What if I have questions?

    You can contact the C&IT help desk at helpdesk@wayne.edu if you have any technical questions.  For other questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@wayne.edu