University at Buffalo Crest.

Policy Information

Date Established: 6/22/2017
Date Last Updated:
Responsible Office:
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Office of the Registrar
Responsible Executive:

Policy Contents

Student Preferred Name Policy


The university promotes diversity and a climate welcoming to a diverse community. Use of a student’s preferred name in the classroom and on campus is essential to a safe, inclusive environment.

Policy Statement

The University at Buffalo (UB, university) recognizes that students may use a first or middle name other than their legal name to identify themselves. The university will use a student’s preferred name, when possible, in the course of university education and business unless the student’s birth name or legal name is required by law or the preferred name is used for purposes of misidentification, fraud, or misrepresentation. For identity verification purposes, students must use their legal last name.

The university is required to use the legal first name for many official records and reports, including, but not limited to:

  • University and State University of New York (SUNY) reporting for compliance purposes
  • Bills
  • Financial aid documents
  • Parking tickets
  • 1098-T Tax Forms
  • Diplomas
  • Transcripts
  • Immigration documents
  • Medical records

Students who change their legal name may update their legal name of record through the Office of the Registrar. A legal name change will not impact students’ ability to select a preferred name.

The university reserves the right to review all preferred name changes. The Student Code of Conduct prohibits individuals from using lewd, indecent, or discriminatory names. Students who change their name in violation of university policies or the Student Code of Conduct will be notified via their UB email address and the name(s) will be removed. Students who repeat this violation will be referred to Student Conduct and Advocacy.

Students who experience problems related to faculty or staff misuse of their preferred name, or who experience discrimination should contact Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.


The Office of the Registrar activated HUB (PeopleSoft) functionality giving students the option to enter a preferred name quickly and discreetly, and without needing to ask for accommodations or assistance from university staff. When a preferred name is entered, the preferred name appears on certain high-impact screens within HUB and other support systems allowing faculty and staff to refer to a student by their preferred name.


This policy applies to students who wish to use the preferred name fields.

Faculty and staff interested in changing their preferred name may contact Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 


Legal Name

The name that identifies a person for legal and other official purposes. A person's legal name is generally the name given and registered at birth, and which appears on a birth certificate, but may subsequently change.

Preferred Name

First or middle name by which a student may wish to be known that differs from their legal first or middle name.


Faculty and Staff

  • Use a student's preferred name whenever possible.
  • Use a student’s legal name when required.
  • Route students to the Office of the Registrar and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as needed.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Investigate and respond to student complaints regarding misuse of their preferred name.

Office of the Registrar

  • Oversee preferred name functionality in HUB, including maintenance, testing, explanation of policy, and reviewing for student abuse of policy.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Sarah Mack 716-645-6729
Joseph Rizzo 716-645-5699
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Office of the Registrar 716-645-5698

Related Information

University Links

Related Links

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President