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Submitting A Chosen Name

Rutgers University recognizes that members of the university community use names other than their legal names. Employees can determine the chosen first name that you want to be known by within Rutgers’ systems. Rutgers reserves the right to remove a name that does not meet our standards. Inappropriate use of the chosen name policy (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for removal. The university will not accept a chosen name that is vulgar or offensive, obscene, contains profanity, discriminatory language, or sexually suggestive words, or creates confusion with another person.

Beginning September 2022, employees may submit a chosen name by following the steps outlined below:

  1. Navigate and login to myRutgers Portal with your NetID and password.
  2. Select the “Employee Self Service” tab.
  3. Click, "Update Chosen Name" which is located under HR Tools within the section for Faculty & Staff Resources.
  4. Click “Update Chosen Name” and click the “Add/Update Chosen Name” button on the bottom of the screen to make the desired updates.
  5. Once complete, select “Save” to view a confirmation of the changes. Please note, changes may take 24-48 hours to take effect in any downstream systems.

To view screenshots of the above steps, please download the Setting a Chosen Name User Guide.

Chosen Name Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Chosen or Preferred name?

A chosen name is a name an employee wishes to be known by in the university community that is different from the employee’s legal name on file with the university.

Can a chosen name be used for both my first and last name?

University business and systems require that your last name is your legal last name. Accordingly, the name change process is limited to first name only and not surnames or family names.

What can I use as my chosen name?

Although employees are generally free to determine the names they wish to be known by, inappropriate use of the name change process (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for removal. Your chosen first name must be a name you truly use to identify yourself. The university will not accept a chosen first name that is vulgar or offensive, obscene, contains profanity, discriminatory language, or sexually suggestive words, or creates confusion with another person.

What is an allowable chosen name format?

Many members of the university community use a first name that differs from their legal first name. Allowable name formats include (but are not limited to):

  • A shortened derivative of a name (e.g, “Peggy” for “Margaret”)
  • A middle name instead of a first name
  • First and middle initials (e.g., “A.J.” for “Andrew Joseph”)
  • An anglicized name (e.g, “Robert” instead of “Xiangu”)
  • A name that better represents the individual’s gender identity
  • A name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing

The university will not accept a chosen first name that is vulgar or offensive, obscene, fanciful, contains profanity, discriminatory language, or sexually suggestive words, or creates confusion with another person.

Can my chosen name contain characters?

Yes. The chosen first name is limited to at least one alphabetical character (A-Z or a-z), and can include the following special characters: apostrophe, hyphen, and periods.

Can I request to change my chosen name multiple times?

The chosen name process is not intended to entertain repeated requests for a chosen name change. Additional requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can I use my chosen name for everything at Rutgers?

We make every effort to work with our technology vendors to use the chosen name, but it’s not always possible as our software systems and services are not centralized. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require the use of the legal name. Those who are utilizing a chosen name should always be prepared to reference their legal name as well as provide their university identification when necessary.

What system(s) will be updated when I follow the process for setting a chosen name?

University Human Resources is partnering with the Office of University Equity & Inclusion and the Office of Information Technology to develop a phased-in update of all Rutgers systems to ensure that chosen name is utilized in as many places as feasible. Our goal is to utilize an employee’s chosen name in all systems except where the use of the legal name is required. Effective September 1, 2022, the following systems will be automatically updated within 24-48 hours after an employee sets a chosen name: 

  • Rutgers Search Directory
  • My Rutgers Portal
  • Canvas
  • REGIS

For consistency, employees may also wish to ensure the following platforms are updated once they have set a chosen name as these will not be automatically updated:

Will my chosen name be viewable in the directory?

Yes. Once a chosen name is submitted, it will appear in the directory in place of the employee’s legal name. For example, if your legal name is Robert, but you prefer Bob, and your last name is Smith, your directory display will show as Bob Smith once you set a chosen name. 

Will a chosen name that I set as a student automatically transfer over to my faculty or staff records upon employment?

In rare cases where an employee was a former Rutgers student and submitted a name change as a student, the chosen name will be displayed in student systems but not in their employee records. You must follow the steps outline above to set a chosen name as an employee. If an employee sets a chosen name and then becomes a student, they will need to follow the student process to ensure their chosen name is properly displayed in the following systems:

  • Canvas
  • REGIS
  • Diploma/Degree
  • Commencement Programs
How long will it take for my chosen name to change?

Changes may take 24-48 hours to take effect in the directory.

Who do I contact at Rutgers if I have additional questions about the name change process?

If you have additional questions or need further guidance through the name change process, please contact Liz Cronce at namechange@rutgers.edu.

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