UT launches option on myUT portal to use preferred first name in email, directory systems

January 31, 2017 | UToday
By Christine Billau

University of Toledo students, faculty and staff now have the option to manually change their first name to their preferred name in systems where it’s visible to the University community.

The preferred name would be displayed in place of the legal first name in the myUT portal, Outlook email, eDirectory, BlackBoard Learn and Self-Service for all class lists, course schedules, course rosters and any other non-legal document. It does not change an individual’s actual email address. The first name in the email display name also would reflect the preferred name.

preferred-first-name-updateThe change can be made on the myUT portal beginning this spring semester. It’s a self-service process that does not require approval.

UT made the move to offer the preferred-name option in response to input from the LGBTQA community.

“This is an important step in supporting those who are in transition,” Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion, said. “This allows how you identify yourself to be reflected in UT systems, whether it be a transgender issue or a nickname you prefer. We have colleagues who are not comfortable using their given names. This gives them the flexibility to use their preferred name. We want to ensure every member of the UT community feels included, respected and free from discrimination.”

To add, change or delete a preferred first name, sign in to the myUT portal. Under the “Employee” and “Student” tabs, click on “Update Preferred First Name.” Type your preferred first name and click “Update.”

The individual’s legal first name will remain unchanged in UTAD accounts and on identification badges because those connect with the legal name in other University systems.

“We don’t want to create a potential error when it comes to tax forms, official transcripts, insurance and legal issues,” Bill McCreary, UT vice president and chief information and technology officer, said. “I prefer to be called Bill, not William, so I plan to take advantage of this option myself. However, we advise students, faculty and staff to keep names appropriate and respectful because it is visible to our entire University community.”

Approximately 5,500 students, faculty and staff members already use their preferred names in some systems.

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