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 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 request a replacement card. Faculty, staff or students who request replacement 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 name of use as well as their UniqueID. The unique ID is linked in Banner to both the student’s legal name and name of use to ensure accuracy of identity.


Name of Use–A name of use is defined as an alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual in university systems.

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

Primary name–A person’s legal name.

Systems and Processes

Miami University utilizes multiple systems and applications to manage its operations and processes. Where appropriate university systems and applications will be modified to display only the name of use. Because Miami is continually updating software systems and incorporating new applications, the process of modifying applications and systems is ongoing.

Instances in which a primary or legal name is required include, but are not limited to, financial aid forms, tax forms, university transcripts, and health records.

Since faculty, staff and students will be able to update their name of use at any time throughout the year in the main Banner system, other university applications or systems that are dependent on data that is primarily stored in Banner must be refreshed on a regular, scheduled basis as much as practicable.

Systems, forms and processes that collect and/or use student information should be updated to allow the names of use of students.

Places Where Preferred First Name May Be Used

  • Advisee Reports
  • BannerWeb, Class and Photo Rosters
  • Canvas Learning Management System
  • Course Evaluations
  • Grade Submission Reports (accessed via Canvas)
  • Miami ID Card
  • MyCard
  • MyMiami
  • Online Directory Listing
  • Orientation Scheduling
  • Student Success Collaborative- Advisor Note Taking & Scheduling
  • Student Wellness Online Programs
  • Study Abroad Registration
  • Writing Consultations (Howe Center)

Places Where Legal First Name Will Be Used

  • Bannerweb
  • Bills, Bursar Accounts
  • Conduct Records
  • Degree Audit Reports
  • Diploma
  • Federal Immigration Documents
  • Financial Aid Records
  • Grade Submission Reports (accessed via Banner)
  • Medical and Insurance Records
  • Office of Community Standards
  • Official Transcript
  • Payroll
  • Police Records
  • Professional Licensure Records
  • Student Disabilities Management (SAIM/AIM)
  • Verification Requests and Enrollment Inquiries

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


A small working group consisting of an associate provost, assistant provost, director of LGBTQ+ Services, and IT services representatives meets regularly to monitor and advocate for the implementation of the name in use policy.