Preferred Name


Administration & Finance


Human Resources

Contact Information: 

Ericka Jackson / Associate Director of HRIS / HR Operations / Human Resources / 415.405.4366 /

Effective Date: 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Revised Date: 

Thursday, August 16, 2018


San Francisco State University recognizes the need or preference of staff, faculty, and students to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves with colleagues or on internal correspondence. In order to provide our campus community with a safe, inclusive, and nondiscriminatory environment, the Human Resources department has implemented a self-service option for employees to update a “Preferred Name”.


I.          Reason for Policy

The Preferred Name Policy allows members of the San Francisco State University community to use names, other than their legal names, to identify themselves where preferred and appropriate.

II.         Permissible Use of a Preferred Name

Except as set forth in Section III of this Policy, members of the university community are entitled to use Preferred Names to identify themselves. The University acknowledges that a Preferred Name can and should be used where preferred in the course of university education and communication.

III.        Prohibited Use of a Preferred Name

a. The use of a Preferred Name is for campus systems’ display only and does not replace areas where a legal name is required by law or CSU / San Francisco State University policy.

b. The use of a preferred name cannot be used for misrepresentation or fraudulent purposes.

c. The choice of a preferred name must be appropriate, cannot be obscene, and must not violate any University, CSU, local, state, or federal policies or regulations.

d. Preferred names that are not administratively eligible to be implemented such as images or symbols.

e. The University reserves the right to remove any Preferred Name without prior notice to the individual.

IV.       Display of Preferred or Chosen Names

At this time, Preferred Names will appear on the university directory, class and grade rosters, and the ILearn system. Going forward, the University will attempt to display Preferred Names to the University community wherever feasible and appropriate, and will make a good faith effort to update reports, documents, and systems that are designated to use Preferred Names.

V.        Privacy

CSU and San Francisco State University staff with an administrative need (e.g. Human Resources, UPD, EHS, and Student Health Services) will see both legal and preferred names. Similar to those with access to employment, benefits, and other sensitive information, these staff are trained on the implications of this access.

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student’s name, including one’s Preferred Name, may be disclosed to the public as “directory information” unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure.


  1. Navigate and log in to
  2. Click on Employee services
  3. Click on the Launch HR Self Service button
  4. Navigate to My personal information and select Names
  5. Click the Add a new name button
  6. Select Preferred from the drop down menu and fill in how you would like your name to appear
  7. Click the Save button

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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Preferred Name