Effective June 18, 2018

The University recognizes that many members of its community use names other than their legal names. For some students and employees, a chosen or preferred name may be an important component of their identity. Therefore, the University has established this policy which allows students and employees to indicate their preferred names to the University community even if they have not changed their legal names.

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.

Preferred name – A preferred name is defined as an alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual in university systems. A preferred name is limited to first name or first name and middle name; last names are considered legal names and any change to last name must be accompanied by appropriate documentation.

Legal name – A person’s legal name is the name they use for official government documents, such as licenses, passports, and tax forms.


A student or employee’s preferred name will be used instead of the person’s legal name in select University-related systems and documents as listed below.
Preferred names will be used in the following systems and records:

  • Student or Employee Identification Cards*
  • Employee business cards
  • Online Phonebook Directory**
  • Official Student Email Display Name
  • Official Employee Email Display Name
  • Directory information
  • Class and Grade Rosters (for students and employees taking courses)
  • MaineStreet Advising Center
  • MaineStreet Student Services Center
  • MaineStreet Employee Self-Service Center
  • Learning Management Systems (such as Brightspace)
  • Reports and/or lists generated for academic purposes
  • Responses to requests made under the Maine Freedom of Access Act
  • Press Releases (i.e., Dean’s List)
  • Social Media Sites
  • Other Venues, as appropriate

Legal/primary names will continue to be used for official University records including, but not limited to the following:

  • Legal Documents and Reports Produced by the University (i.e., enrollment reports to the National Student Clearinghouse, enrollment lists for student insurance)
  • Applications for Admission
  • Student Account Statement (Bills)
  • Financial Aid, Scholarship and Loan Documents
  • Transcripts (Official and unofficial)
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Degree Verifications
  • Degree Progress Report
  • Student Employment Documents
  • Responses to requests made under the Solomon Amendment
  • Employment Verifications
  • Employment Documents
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other Payroll documents
  • Benefits Enrollment
  • IRS, SSA, and other state and federal reporting requirements

Graduating students have the option of specifying the name they wish to be used on their diploma and in the Commencement Program when completing the Application for Graduation.

Official communications that require the use of the legal/primary name shall use that name; other communications will use the preferred name.

Preferred name change requests may be denied or revoked by the University when the preferred name is used to avoid a legal obligation, commit fraud, misrepresent, or otherwise violate university policy or law. Reports of such activity will be handled pursuant to University policies and procedures and applicable law. Depending on the individual and circumstances involved this could include the offices of Human Resources, Equal Opportunity, General Counsel, the Student Conduct Officer, the Chief Academic Affairs Officer, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.

*A one-time waiver of the fee to update the Student or Employee Identification Card with the preferred name will be provided. Subsequent changes will result in an applicable fee.

** Students can make a request that their directory information not be released to the public. Students must submit a “Request to Suppress Directory Information” form to the Registrar’s/Student Records Office or through Student Self Service within MaineStreet. The request will be honored until such time as the student requests otherwise in writing. In the event that such written notification (or indication within Student Self Service) is not filed, the University assumes that the student does not object to the release of directory information. Employees may request to restrict the listing of their (legal or preferred) names in the online employee directory by contacting their campus office of Human Resources. Approvals will be made on a case-by-case basis.

***If there are questions about this policy, contact the UMS Chief Student Affairs Officer or the UMS Director of EO.

Frequently Asked Questions

Office of Equal Opportunity
101 North Stevens Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5754