Name of Use

Professor speaks to his class in language lab, CAS
Professor Scott Hartley, wearing protective glasses, talks with students in the lab, CAS


Many members of the Miami community use a name that differs from their legal name (listed as "primary name" in university data systems). These may include individuals who use:

  • a middle name 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.

To encourage a more welcoming climate, Miami has a policy and procedures that allow students, faculty, and staff to indicate their name of use of use to the university community regardless of whether they have legally changed their name and as long as the use of a preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation.

The first name of use will be used consistently across internal University communication and reporting systems, except where the legal name is necessitated by legal or business requirement.

A name of use (sometimes known as preferred name) is a first name that is chosen to be used instead of the legal first name. Miami will not accept a name of use that is vulgar, offensive, or obscene; creates confusion of the individual with another person; or otherwise constitutes misuse or abuse as defined in this policy. The name of use cannot be used for the purpose of misrepresentation and must otherwise comply with Miami policies, including the Student Code of Conduct. 

The name of use will appear instead of a legal name in the Miami University online directory, on Miami ID cards (along with the unique ID), on all University reports (unless the legal name is required in the report output), University-supported Learning Management Systems, advising system, class and photo rosters, and internal scheduling systems. 

Faculty, staff or students who update their name of use after being issued an identification card may requires a replacement card. Faculty, staff or students who request identification cards should be advised that appropriate charges may apply. 

The legal name will be used only when it is required for business, legal and external reporting purposes such as student bursar accounts, financial aid documents, official transcripts, diplomas, federal immigration documents, police records, conduct records, medical and health records, payroll, and professional licensure records.

To ensure accurate records, students, faculty, and staff also should routinely identify themselves if using a non-legal name. When identifying, referring to, or requesting about students, members of the Miami University community should use the student's legal name and name of use to ensure accuracy of identity.

Additional Information

For information on how to change your first name and personal information on the Miami Directory and on Class Photo Rosters, visit One Stop's Your Info page.

For information on how to change your display name in google, visit the Knowledge Base article Change My Display Name in Google

For information on how to change the name that appears when you log into your computer, visit the Knowledge Base article Change the Name that Appears When I Log into My Computer.

For more information on gender inclusive opportunities, contact LGBTQ Services