Preferred Name Policy

Effective Date:
Southeastern Green Seal


Policy Statement

Southeastern Louisiana University recognizes that faculty, staff and students may want the use of a preferred name. The University is committed to using the preferred names of individuals wherever possible. There are certain legal documents and communications that require use of an individual’s legal name.


Purpose of Policy

Southeastern recognizes that faculty, staff and students may use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Except when the use of an individual’s legal name is required by law or policy, individuals will be identified in Southeastern Louisiana University systems and procedures by the preferred name that they have designated in accordance with this policy.



This policy applies to all faculty, staff and students of Southeastern Louisiana University.


Policy Procedure

An individual seeking to adopt a preferred name that is different from that individual’s legal name must certify that the preferred name is or will be actually used to identify that individual. Southeastern will not accept a preferred name that is vulgar, offensive, obscene or fanciful, creates confusion of the individual with another individual, or otherwise constitutes misuse or abuse as defined in this policy. The use of a preferred name cannot be used for the purpose of misrepresentation and must otherwise comply with University policies, including the Student Code of Conduct. The Human Resources office will determine if a preferred name is appropriate under these criteria for faculty and staff. The Registrar’s Office will determine if the preferred name is appropriate under these criteria for students. Appeals for preferred name requests not approved may be submitted up the chain of command to the appropriate vice president.

The University reserves the right to remove preferred names that are deemed misrepresentative and to suspend the individual’s privilege to update a preferred name.

-Only the first and/or middle name may be changed to a preferred name;

-Last/family name must remain the same as the full legal last name in the University records system;

-Preferred names are limited to alphabetical characters (a-z); however, accents and hyphens are allowed.

Development to accommodate use of a preferred name in University systems is ongoing. Not all University information systems, databases, and processes may be able to display a preferred name and many uses of an individual’s name require display of the legal name; therefore, individuals who utilize a preferred name should always be prepared to reference their legal name and provide corresponding identification when necessary. A preferred name designation is not a legal name change.


University Issued Identification Cards:

An individual’s preferred name may be printed on the front of the individual’s Southeastern identification card. The legal first and last names will be placed on the back of the card. Individuals who are issued cards with a preferred name that is different from their legal names should be cautioned that such cards are issued for the purpose of University business and voting purposes only, and that identification cards issued by Southeastern Louisiana University are not considered government-issued identification for purposes such as air travel.

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



Preferred Name – An alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual.

Legal Name – The name an individual uses for official governmental documents, such as licenses, social security cards, passports, and tax forms.