University Administrative Policy Preferred Name


To establish a policy under which members of the university community may choose to identify themselves in the university’s information systems with a preferred name in addition to a legal name, and/or to request an identifying pronoun.


Eastern Michigan University (EMU) 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 preferred name is not for purposes of misrepresentation, EMU acknowledges that a preferred name can and should be used wherever possible in the course of university business and education. EMU also acknowledges that an identifying pronoun may be desired and should be allowable whenever possible.


  1. EMU’s Division of Information Technology will develop and disseminate a procedure allowing a person to identify a preferred name online, using the my.emich system. Once a student enters a preferred name, the following systems may be updated to reflect this name:
    • Class Rosters
    • Photo ID
    • E-mail
    • Grade Reports
    • EMU Directory Listings
      Please Note: Some systems may require additional steps to complete a name update. Other systems may be added over time.
  2. Members of the university community may also indicate a pronoun using the my.emich system by choosing one from the drop-down list in the indicated area.
  3. Name changes will take effect immediately, but are subject to review. Although each person is free to determine a preferred name, use of the preferred name for purposes of misrepresentation or other inappropriate purposes will be cause for removal of the preferred name.
  4. A person’s legal name must remain on any documents where a legal name is required by federal or state law.
  5. Staff with an administrative need (e.g., police, health, financial services, deans’ offices, Human Resources or similar) may see both a person’s legal and preferred names. As with Grade Point Averages (GPAs) and other sensitive information, these staff members shall be trained on the implications of this access.
  6. A preferred name may be added or changed one time per year. 7.0 This policy does not form a contract of any kind and may be modified, changed, altered, or rescinded at the discretion of EMU.


The Office of the President, or its designee, has overall and primary responsibility for ensuring that this policy and procedures are properly carried out.