The University recognizes that as a community many of its members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. The University began a phased implementation of a preferred first and/or middle name policy that allows eligible students to indicate their preferred first name to the university community regardless of a legal name change. Faculty and staff will soon also be able to indicate their preferred names.
Students can update their contact information in My UW-Madison (see the Student Personal Information portlet within the Student Services tab). When available, faculty and staff will be able to update their information in the Personal Information portlet within the Work Record tab. Please note: if your preferred name is the same as your legal name, you do not need to take action.
Campus will begin its phased implementation this fall and eventually many campus systems will recognize your preferred name.
“Many people don’t realize how often and in how many places one’s name appears,” says Dean of Students Lori Berquam. “A system that allows a person to be called by the name that they prefer makes sense and benefits our students and communities. The use and integration of preferred names across university’s system furthers our commitment to create a UW that is inclusive of all people.”
As long as the use of the preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, it will begin to appear instead of a legal name in university-related records and documents. In cases where the use of a legal name is required by university business or for a legal need, the preferred name will not be used.