Preferred Name Policy

Preferred Name Policy Committee
Created: June 8, 2020
Updated: June 8, 2020

Summary

New York Institute of Technology recognizes that students, faculty and staff may prefer to use a first name other than their Legal Name to identify themselves. These may include, but are not limited to, people who use their middle name instead of their first name, people who use nicknames of a Legal Name, people who use an anglicized name, or people who use a name that affirms their gender identity. New York Tech refers to this as a Preferred First Name.

Congruent with our commitment to equity and inclusion, New York Tech allows all current faculty, staff and students to use a Preferred First Name if the use of this different first name is appropriate and not for misrepresentation or an attempt to avoid a legal obligation. New York Tech will display a Preferred First Name in place of your legal first name in many, but not all, internal systems and reports, as there are certain official documents, legal requirements and/or system limitations that necessitate the use of an individual’s Legal Name.

Definitions

A Legal Name is the full name that appears on an individual’s passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. Social Security card, or other government issued document (i.e. court order).

A Preferred First Name is a first name an individual chooses to be known by in the New York Tech community that is different from their Legal Name. In the cultural context of the United States, a 'given name' would be the equivalent of the first name and a 'surname' would be the equivalent of the last name.

Scope of Preferred Name Policy

New York Tech’s Preferred Name Policy only covers Preferred First Name currently. Middle names and surnames/last names can be changed only with a Legal Name change. New York Tech is working towards a consistent name experience across New York Tech systems that will utilize the Preferred First Name, except when Legal Name is necessary or modifications to accommodate Preferred First Name in data systems are not feasible.

Preferred First Name Restrictions

New York Tech community members may set their Preferred First Name using these guidelines:
Preferred First Names are limited to standard alphanumeric characters (e.g., A-Z, a-z, numbers), single spaces, apostrophes, and hyphens. Commas, diacritical marks or more than one space in the preferred name may not be used. New York Tech reserves the right to reject or remove a Preferred First Name if deemed inappropriate.

Use of Preferred Name

New York Tech will attempt to display Preferred First Name to the New York Tech community where possible and appropriate, and make a good faith effort to update reports, documents and systems accordingly.

Currently, New York Tech will display a Preferred First Name in place of your legal first name in the following areas:

  • Advising rosters, for any academic advising appointments
  • Blackboard
  • Class rosters used by faculty for attendance
  • Grade rosters used by faculty and Registrar
  • Handshake for Career Services
  • Library System (Bearcat)
  • Portal for Enrollment Services appointments
  • New York Tech e-mail address and display (Please see below section for more information)
  • TargetX admissions portal
  • Online Directory Listings (for staff/faculty)
  • New York Tech ID Card (Please see below section for more information)
  • New York Tech Connect (my.nyit.edu)
  • Navigate (Student Success Collaborative)
  • Moodle and Akila, for COM students
  • GivePulse for volunteer and community service opportunities
  • Residential Life and Housing System

Procedures for Changing Preferred First Name

Students may change their Preferred First Name by submitting the online Preferred First Name Change form to the Office of the Registrar. A student will receive notification of approval of the preferred name within 3 business days.  If there are concerns regarding the appropriateness or meaning of the preferred name, the Office of the Registrar will notify the student that the name has not been approved and will refer the request to the Dean of Students Office. A representative from that office will contact the student to individually and privately discuss the preferred name. In such cases, the Dean of Students Office will make the final determination as to the approval of a Preferred First Name and will communicate such decision to the Office of the Registrar.

Faculty and staff may change their Preferred First Name by logging into Oracle Self-Service and entering their preferred name.

Once a Preferred First Name is approved (for students) or entered (for employees), it may take up to 2 business days for the name to appear correctly in the identified systems. If you are a student and your Preferred First Name is not displaying correctly, please contact the Office of the Registrar. If you are a faculty or staff member and your Preferred First Name is not displaying correctly, please contact Human Resources.

Preferred First Name by Request Only

There are some instances where the Preferred First Name change does not happen automatically.

Preferred First Name and New York Tech ID Cards

If you have a Preferred First Name in NYITConnect prior to your New York Tech ID Card being printed, your New York Tech ID Card will be printed using your Preferred First Name instead of your legal first name (e.g., you provided a Preferred First Name on your admissions application or your new hire paperwork.

If not, replacing an New York Tech ID Card to display a Preferred First Name is an option available to all members of the New York Tech community, but is not a requirement. To receive a new New York Tech ID card with your Preferred First Name, you must go to Campus Security to obtain a replacement card. Members of the New York Tech community will not be charged for the first replacement card that is issued because of an approved Preferred First Name change request. Subsequent replacement cards follow standard replacement guidelines.

If for any reason, an individual replaces their New York Tech ID card after designating a Preferred First Name, the Preferred First Name will appear on the ID card.

Some important notes about ID Cards:

  • New York Tech ID Cards may not be used as legal identification; it must be presented with another form of ID if legal identification is required.
  • NYITCOM and Health Professions students will be allowed to obtain two New York Tech ID Cards should they have a Preferred First Name, as licensing examinations and rotations may require a student to present a school identification card with their full legal name.
  • Student employees cannot use an New York Tech ID Card with their Preferred First Name as a form of identification needed for the I-9.

Preferred First Name and Athletic Rosters

For student-athletes, a Preferred First Name will be used on Front Rush, the rosters on the athletic website, game programs, and other documents used by the Athletic Communication Office. All other internal and external documents and databases will use the student-athlete’s legal name. Every August, the Athletic Department will have student-athletes complete a form that will ask about any Preferred First Name. If a student-athlete would like to use a preferred name after August, they must contact the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance.

Preferred First Name and New York Tech Publications

All official publications by New York Tech will use a student or staff member’s legal name. This includes honors societies, Box articles, dean’s list, etc.  However, commencement programs will utilize a student’s Preferred First Name.

New York Tech Account Username and Email Address

If an individual wishes to change their New York Tech Account username and email address to reflect a Preferred First Name, they will need to contact Service Central as these changes need to be coordinated to ensure no break in the electronic experience at New York Tech.

Changing the New York Tech Account username and email address to more closely resemble a Preferred First Name is optional and not required. To use a Preferred First Name as the basis for an New York Tech Account username and email address, please contact Service Central after the change has been made in the appropriate New York Tech person record system.

If you have a Preferred First Name in NYITConnect prior to your New York Tech Account being established, New York Tech will create your New York Tech Account username and email address using your Preferred First Name instead of your legal first name (for example, you provided a Preferred First Name on your admissions application or new hire paperwork). If you elect to add/change a Preferred First Name to your New York Tech name record later, most of the system updates referenced above occur nightly so changes to these electronic systems should occur within 24 hours of processing.

Use of Legal Name

Some New York Tech departments interact with, and send reports to, federal, state and other third-party services that verify the identity of faculty, staff and students using the Legal Name and other personally identifiable information which prohibits the use of a Preferred First Name. In these cases, your legal first name will appear on all other New York Tech records and communications such as:

  • Transcripts (official and unofficial)
  • Official enrollment and degree verification documents
  • Student billing and student accounts (including e-Bills)
  • Financial aid and scholarship records
  • Medical records
  • Insurance documents
  • Benefits enrollment
  • Retirement documents
  • Immigration documents
  • Payroll/tax records (including online/web time entry) and payment types.
  • Education Department teacher certification records
  • Diploma name
  • Official correspondence with external agencies (e.g. governmental audits, legal proceedings, etc.)
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Academic Certifications
  • Federal Requests for Information
  • National Student Clearinghouse
  • International Student Affairs Documentation
  • Human Resource records and reporting
  • Employment Verifications

Procedures for Changing Legal Name

Students who have had their Legal Name changed by the appropriate government entity must inform New York Tech of this change by completing the Application to Change Personal Information form and submitting it to the Registrar’s Office with the required documentation.

Faculty and staff who have had their Legal Name changed by the appropriate government entity must inform New York Tech of this change by completing the Change of Address and/or Name form and submitting it to Human Resources with the required documentation.

For more information on Legal Name changes in the state of New York, please visit: https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/NameChange/index.shtml

Use of Preferred First Name and Legal Name

Staff with an administrative need (e.g., security, health services, financial services, deans' office) will have access to both Legal Name and Preferred First Name. Similar to GPAs and other sensitive information, these staff are trained on the responsibilities associated with this type of access.

For More Information

For questions about the Preferred Name Policy, please contact the appropriate office listed below:

  • Faculty/Staff – contact the Human Resources Office at 516.686.7667.