Preferred Name Procedure

  1. Purpose

    1. Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) and Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) recognize and support the members of its community who wish to use preferred names where legally permissible. This procedure details the process by which SMSU students and employees may designate a preferred name to be used when a legal name is not required in the course of University business and educational pursuits. 
    2. The procedure has been developed pursuant to the Minnesota State Preferred Name Procedure 1.2 approved as of 7/30/15 and the Preferred Name Implementation Plan (Plan) document dated 7/29/15.
    3. Preferred names will appear where legal name is not required. SMSU will use preferred names where technically and legally possible. Examples include e-mail accounts, on-line directory, diplomas, class rosters, honor program lists, D2L homepages, commencement programs, advisee lists, ID cards, and alumni records. This list is subject to change. Use of preferred names will be phased in as technical resources permit.
  2. Preferred Name Requesting Process
    1. To request a preferred name, students and employees will need to complete the appropriate steps.
      1. Students can access a Preferred Name Request Form, complete and submit it within their Eservices account.
      2. Employees should contact the Human Resources Office (BA 269).

        Please note that a photo ID may be required as part of the Requesting Process
    2. A three person team comprising of staff from the Registration & Advising Office (Team Lead), International Student Services and the Office of Admission will approve or deny requests from students. The Human Resources Office will approve or deny requests from employees. In the event a request is denied, a notice will be sent to the requestor. Notification will include the reason for the denial and will be sent to the requestor within ten (10) business days of receipt of the Request Form.
      1. Students will receive notification of approval/denial in their SMSU email account.
      2. Employees will receive written notification of approval/denial from the Human Resources Office.
    3. Following the processing of approved requests, use of the approved preferred name may take up to 72 hours in systems enabled for use of preferred name.

      SMSU reserves the right to deny an inappropriate preferred name including, but not limited to, those that: avoid legal obligations, misrepresent, or violate other Minnesota State or SMSU policies, contain inappropriate or offensive language, or is being used for misrepresentation, etc. Preferred names may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes and thus may not be a company name, group name, or message.
  3. Appeal Process
    1. Following the denial of any Preferred Name request, the student or employee has ten (10) business days from receipt of the denial to file a written appeal using an appeal form.
      1. Students can contact the Registrations & Records Office for appeal information.
      2. Employees can appeal to the Human Resources Office (BA 269).
    2. A five person team that includes the Vice-President for Enrollment Management (Team Lead), the Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Chief Information Officer, the Chief Diversity Officer, and a faculty/staff representative appointed by the President will review and act upon appeals from students.
    3. A three person team that includes the Provost and Vice-President for Academic and Student Affairs, the Vice-President for Finance and Administration, and the Chief Human Resources Officer will review and act upon appeals from employees.
    4. Appeals will be reviewed and acted upon within ten (10) business days.
    5. SMSU has the ultimate authority in determining the appropriateness of Preferred Names for SMSU students and employees and decisions are final.
  4. Additional Information
    1. A student’s Preferred Name Request form will be retained according to the SMSU retention schedule.
    2. An employee’s Preferred Name request will be retained as part of the personnel file for (4) four years after separation date.
    3. A Preferred Name will remain in effect until the requestor asks that it be changed.
    4. Preferred Name requests that include characters other than alpha-numeric symbols may not be compatible with all Minnesota State and SMSU technology systems.
    5. For those students and employees who request a Preferred Name and are associated with more than one Minnesota State institution, please note that the timing of the appearance of your Preferred Name may vary at each institution based on each institution’s available technical resources.

Questions regarding the Preferred Name Process should be directed to the appropriate office:

Human Resources Office
BA 269

Office of Registration & Records
IL 148

Note: While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, SMSU reserves the right to correct any clerical errors herein. Also, you can submit feedback.