Preferred First Name Policy

  • The Preferred First Name Policy allows students, faculty, staff, and alumni to indicate their preferred first names to the university community even if they have not legally changed their first name. The use of a preferred first name does not change the legal name on IUP’s records.

    A preferred first name is defined as an alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual in university systems. This is a name the individual prefers to be used within the IUP community. These may include individuals who prefer to use:

    • a middle name or nickname instead of a first name;
    • an anglicized name;
    • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing; or
    • a name that better represents the individual’s gender identity.

    A person’s legal name is the name used for official government documents, such as licenses, passports, and tax forms. Also commonly known as a given name, this is the name that is officially recorded in university systems and documents. This name can only be changed by IUP following submission of appropriate legal documentation. Legal names will continue to be used where there is a university business or legal need.

    Upon written request by the individual, a preferred first name will be used instead of the person’s legal first name in select university-related systems and documents. The legal name will be used in all university-related systems and documents related to official university records.

    An individual is permitted to make one preferred first name request. Extenuating circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The university reserves the right to suspend the individual’s privilege to update their preferred first name.

    Preferred first name requests will be denied or revoked when a name is deemed inappropriate, including but not limited to avoid a legal obligation, fraud, obscene/offensive language, or misrepresentation.

    Complete and submit the Preferred First Name Request Form.