Preferred Name Tips for Faculty and Staff | Kent State University

Preferred Name Tips for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff Tips Regarding the Usage of a Student’s Preferred Name

Creating and embracing an inclusive environment is important to the mission of Kent State University.  We recognize that some students use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. As such, Kent State University has established a process for students to request a preferred name.

The student’s preferred name will be used where ever possible in the course of University business. There are places where the legal name will continue to be used for University business or legal needs. Students who are utilizing a preferred name should always be prepared to reference their legal name as well as provide their university identification when necessary.

Only the first and middle names can be updated with a preferred name. Last names cannot be updated through the preferred name process.

Preferred Name Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning Fall 2016, preferred names will be implemented in the systems below. This list will change as more systems are updated.

ALEKS FlashLine
ARES GPS (Degree Audit System)
Blackboard Grade Roster
Class Roster KentLINK (University Library)
Cognos - Official Student Registrar Reports* KSU Advising
Electronic Reserves (University Library) KSUview***
FlashCard** Student Accessibility Services System
FlashFast Student Directory

* Reports will be updated over a period of time
**If the student requests a new FlashCard, the student’s preferred name will be displayed on the front of the card and the student’s legal name on the back.
*** KSUview designees will see the student’s preferred name when they access information that has been authorized by the student.

Once a student’s preferred name has been approved, allow two business days for the name to appear in the systems. It is highly recommended that the student obtain a new FlashCard with their preferred name as soon as possible.

For all other places not listed above, assume the legal name will be used.

EMAIL DISPLAY NAME: Students can change their display name of their kent.edu email address. Please contact TechHelp at either support.kent.edu or at 330-672-HELP.

PLACES WHERE A STUDENT’S PREFERRED NAME WILL NOT APPEAR

Admissions National Student Clearinghouse
Bursar’s Office National Student Loan Data Systems
Commencement Program Official Transcripts
Degree Verification Payroll processing and forms
Diploma Reporting to any entity external to the University
Enrollment Verification SEVIS
Financial Aid Student bill
Health Center Insurance billing Student refunds
Media release (President’s list, Dean’s list, etc)  

FOR FACULTY

  • Blackboard: The student’s preferred name will be pushed into Blackboard and will be displayed on the course rosters
  • Class/Grade Rosters: The student’s approved preferred name will be shown on all class and grade rosters. If a student’s preferred name is approved in the current term, you will receive an email notification that a student has an approved preferred name. Your rosters will now reflect this change. Once you receive notification, it is expected that you will address the student by the chosen preferred name. If you have printed your class roster, please note the change or print a new roster.
  • FlashCard: If the student has requested a new FlashCard, the preferred name will be on the front of the card and the student’s legal name will be on the back of the card.
  • Student Directory: You will be able to search by either the student’s legal or preferred name. The student’s preferred name will be the only result returned in the search.

FOR ADVISORS

  • Banner INB: The student’s preferred name is only displayed on SPAIDEN. The student’s preferred first name will display on the Current Identification tab in the Preferred First Name field and on the Alternate Identification tab with the name type of ‘PREF’.
  • Blackboard: The student’s preferred name will be pushed into Blackboard and will be displayed on the course rosters
  • FlashCard: If the student has requested a new FlashCard, the preferred name will be on the front of the card and the student’s legal name will be on the back of the card.
  • FlashFast for Advisors (Self-Service Banner): FlashFast will display the student’s preferred name. You will be able to search by either the student’s legal or preferred name. The student’s preferred name will be the only result returned in the search.
  • GPS (DegreeWorks): The student’s preferred name will be displayed.
  • Student Directory: You will be able to search by either the student’s legal or preferred name. The student’s preferred name will be the only result returned in the search.

PREFERRED NAME GENERAL TIPS

  • Always default to the student’s preferred name. When having a one-on-one conversation, it is useful to ask, “What name would you like me to use?” Prior to speaking with a student’s family member, please ask the student “What name would you like me to use if I speak to a member of your family?”
  • If you are using paper rosters, the information may be outdated; please refer to the electronic version from within official University systems.
  • Refer to the student by the name printed on the front of the FlashCard.
  • Some systems do not use the student’s preferred name, therefore you can search by either the name printed on the back of the student’s FlashCard or by the KSU ID.

SUPPORTING OUR STUDENTS

  • The impact on students will vary, but will be more significant for international students, transgender, and gender nonconforming students.
  • International Students: Students should not feel pressured to identify a preferred name and all efforts to learn how to pronounce a name should be taken. International students may choose an English language name for a variety of reasons:
    • Convenience for English speakers.
    • An English language name may have been assigned to them earlier in their educational experiences in English language classes.
    • Using an English language name may help a student feel more connected and comfortable.
  • An international student may change their name more than once and we are to be respectful and understanding. Some of our students are testing out their English language name and may feel more comfortable with a different name.
  • Transgender and gender nonconforming students may adopt names that are different than their legal names. This is oftentimes a step towards expressing their gender identity more truly. We will make every effort to respect and affirm their actions.
  • Take care in using a student’s name in the university community. We need to make sure not to “out” a student.
  • Students may also want to be referred to by pronouns. Unless you know a person’s pronouns, it is encouraged to use their name and not use a pronoun at or all or to default to the singular “they.” If there is an opportunity to talk with students, you may ask them to share what pronoun they would like you to use.
  • Training is available through Human Resources and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the following sessions: Title IX, Diversity, and Safe Space Ally.