Expand the section navigation mobile menu

OU Administrative Policies
and Procedures

Police & Support Services, Room 13
201 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)

OU Administrative Policies
and Procedures

Police & Support Services, Room 13
201 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)

840 Preferred Name Policy



RATIONALE:  Oakland University (University) is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness and supporting students’ preferred form of self-identification

POLICY: The University recognizes that as a community many of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves.  As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation or a legal name is required by University business, policy or legal need, the University acknowledges that a "preferred name" will be used wherever possible.  A phased implementation process will be employed to accomplish this goal, a tentative schedule can be found on the UTS website here.

Any student, active or retired faculty or staff member, or alumni may choose to identify themselves within the University's information systems with a preferred name in addition to the person's legal name.  However, inappropriate use of the preferred name policy including, but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation and those preferred names that do not comply with university policies, and if applicable, the Student Code of Conduct may be denied.  The University reserves the right to not accept a preferred name if it is deemed inappropriate, including a preferred name that is vulgar, offensive, fanciful, or creates confusion with another person.

SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY:   This policy applies to all students (currently enrolled or alumni), faculty (active or retired), and staff (active or retired).



Legal name: The name the individual is given at birth and which appears in a birth certificate recognized by a government or other legal entity, or the name on a marriage certificate or government issued document (e.g., court order) on which a legal name change is recorded.

Preferred name: The name by which the individual wishes to be known, however, only the first name may be designated as the preferred name.


  • A shortened version of the full legal name may be used (for example, Catherine Jones to Cat Jones.)
  • Initials may be used (James Craig Nelson to J.C. Nelson)
  • A different first name than the legal first name may be used (David Moore to Christy Moore)

PROCEDURES:  The person or department providing operational support for an information system and having responsibility for data maintenance and control methods will make the Preferred Name change, if appropriate.  The following departments are responsible for routinely auditing the Banner system to ensure preferred names comport with this Policy: Registrar (students), Human Resources (faculty and staff), and University Advancement (alumni). 


OU AP&P #710
   Administrative Guidelines Prohibiting Discrimination

OU AP&P #712   Administrative Guidelines Supporting the Equal Opportunity Policy

OU AP&P #830   Information Technology

OU AP&P #850   Network Infrastructure Policy

OU AP&P #880   System Administration Responsibilities