Preferred name


The purpose of this Preferred Name Policy ("Policy") is to enable members of the University community to use and be known by a preferred name that affirms, reflects, and/or expresses their gender, culture, and/or other aspects of their social identity in the classroom and to conduct general business at the University.


Lynn University is committed to maintaining a healthy and inclusive learning, living and working environment that promotes respect in all matters. It is the policy of the University to allow members of our campus community to identify themselves in a manner that makes them feel the most comfortable. Students and employees are permitted to designate a preferred first name even when they have not completed a legal name change. All University offices and personnel are expected to respect a person’s request to be known by their preferred name and to use that name when interacting with individuals who have followed the procedures outlined in this Policy. This expectation covers all areas of the University, including academic instruction, advising, student life, and other University business.

For purposes of this Policy, a preferred name is a name that a student or faculty or staff member wishes to be known by in the University community instead of their legal name. Students may choose to use a preferred name for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to:

• A middle name rather than a first name.
• A better reflection of gender identity.
• An Anglicized name.


Legal Name–the name that is recorded on an individual's legal identification and used on formal legal records at the University.

Preferred Name–the name by which a person wishes to be known and to have appear in University systems and when conducting day-to-day University business because it affirms that individual’s gender, culture and other aspects of social identity. The preferred name will consist of a preferred first name, and preferred middle name when provided. The preferred name does not affect the individual’s last name, which must remain the person’s legal name.

Procedures / Guidelines

I. Preferred Name Requests

Students and employees desiring to set a preferred name may complete the appropriate form which are available in the Registrar (students) and Employee Services (employees) offices, respectively.

The University will make good faith efforts to display preferred names to the University community where feasible and appropriate, and to update the reports, documents and systems designated to use preferred names. If the request is made prior to the issuance of University ID cards, then the preferred name will appear on the card. Otherwise, anyone may request a replacement ID card with their preferred name. Students and employees should understand that additional costs may be associated with the replacement of an ID card.

The University does not guarantee that the preferred name will appear in all locations or in all circumstances. Moreover, Lynn University reserves the right to remove a preferred first name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, if the name is being used for fraud or misrepresentation, avoiding a legal obligation, or if the change creates confusion with another person.

A person may delete their preferred name or their preferred name change request. To do so, they should follow the same procedure as the preferred name change request and contact the Office of the Registrar or Employee Services as applicable.

II. Use of Legal Name

The University will not use an individual’s preferred name on documents or in administrative systems that require the use of the legal name for legal or business related reasons. In those instances, the individual’s legal name will continue to be used for these records.

Below is a listing of all of the areas where an individual’s preferred name will appear and areas in which the legal name will appear:

Email AddressFinancial Aid Documents
University ID CardOfficial Transcripts
LiveTextPayroll Records
Campus Security Records
Disciplinary Records
Medical Records
Admissions Records
Paychecks and Tax Documents
Employment and Personnel Records
Enrollment Verifications

In order for individuals to change the name used for those records where a legal name will appear, they will be required to submit appropriate documentation of a legal name change with appropriate state and/or federal authorities and then submit appropriate documentation (typically a court order) to the Registrar or Human Resources as applicable.

III. Non-Compliance and Complaints

When an individual believes that the individual’s approved preferred name has not been used in accordance with this Policy, the individual is encouraged to seek to resolve that concern informally by communicating the concern directly to the employee or office which has not properly used the preferred name. In cases where a student believes that the student would benefit from additional support or advocacy, or to initiate a formal complaint about non-compliance, students may contact the Vice President for Student Affairs. In cases where an employee believes that the member would benefit from additional support or advocacy, or to initiate a formal complaint about non-compliance, the employee may contact Employee Services.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Registrar.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018