Office of University Compliance

Preferred Names - Frequently Asked Questions

Preferred Names Policy – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a preferred name?

A preferred name is the name that a person wishes to be called, even if it is not that person’s legal name.  At CSU, we will allow the use of a student’s or employee’s preferred first and middle names wherever possible.

When can I use a preferred name?

At this time, preferred names can only be used when requested on a case-by-case basis in the following circumstances:

- In Blackboard
On a Student ID Card
On Residence Life documents
At Counseling Services, except for billing records
At the Cashier’s Office window
- In Office of Disability Services records

To request to use a preferred name, contact the Office for Institutional Equity.  Please include your CSU ID number with your request.

When will other uses of my preferred name become available?

CSU’s goal is to allow the use of preferred names as widely as possible as quickly as possible.  However, the University’s data systems will need to be modified to allow for widespread use of preferred names.  As we develop the timetable for implementation, we will update this webpage with additional information.

How can I request a preferred name?

To request to use a preferred name, contact the Office for Institutional Equity.  Please include your CSU ID number with your request.

At this time, preferred names are only available in Blackboard, on Student ID Cards, on Residence Life documents, at Counseling Services, the Office of Disability Services and at the Cashier’s Office.   

Can any name be used for a preferred name?

No.  Preferred names may not include symbols or numbers (except hyphens and apostrophes) or be ineligible for use as a legal name, usually because they are obscene or derogatory.

In addition, you may not choose a name for the purpose of misrepresentation, to avoid legal obligations, or in any other manner that violates university policy or federal, state or local law. 

Can a last name be changed using the preferred name process?

No.  Only first and middle names may be changed to preferred names.

Can I change my preferred name more than once?

Yes.  At this time, changing to a preferred name is a manual process for which you must contact the Office for Institutional Equity

Can employees use preferred names?

The policy provides for the use of a preferred name by employees and our goal is to allow such use as quickly as possible.  However, at this time, no CSU system for employees has been set up to accept preferred names.

Do I have to choose a preferred name?

No. 

What if my professor does not use my preferred name?

If you have concerns about the use of your preferred name, please contact the Office for Institutional Equity.

How can I get more information?

You may contact the Office for Institutional Equity for more information.