About Preferred First Name

Many members of the UNC Charlotte community use a preferred first name that differs from their legal first name. These may include individuals who prefer to use:

  • a middle name instead of a first name
  • an anglicized name
  • a name that most aligns with an individual's gender identity
  • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing

At UNC Charlotte, we strive to create a personal experience consistent with being a member of the Niner community.

A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified that is other than the individual's legal first name. UNC Charlotte provides a process for any student or employee to include a preferred first name (PFN). While UNC Charlotte will work toward primary use of the PFN, use of one's legal first name will continue to be necessary in some instances.

Submitting/Requesting Preferred First Name

Yes, although...

  • UNC Charlotte reserves the right to deny a request to include a preferred first name (PFN) if the request constitutes a misrepresentation, is fraudulent, or otherwise violates a University Policy and/or the Code of Student Responsibility.
  • These issues related to misuse of the PFN process will be referred to the Dean of Student's Office or Office of Human Resources for investigation, review and possible referral to other units on campus.

No, a preferred first name includes only your first name. If you wish to change your middle or last name, you will need to complete a name change form and provide documentation to the Office of the Registrar.

Log in to My UNC Charlotte > Banner Self Service > Personal Information > View or Update Preferred First Name.

Preferred First Name on 49er ID Card

No, the decision to request a new 49er ID card is entirely optional.

After submitting your preferred first name in Banner Self Service, allow 24 hours for your record to update and export to the 49er ID card system. You may then request a new 49er ID card at the 49er Card Office located in the Auxiliary Services Building, at the ID Office located in the Popp Martin Student Union or at the Center City Campus.

Please be aware that if you have plans to use your 49er ID card for various legal, immigration, employment or voting purposes, the name listed on your 49er ID card may not match records maintained by other agencies outside of UNC Charlotte.

If you exchange your current 49er ID card there is no cost to replace your card due to a name change, otherwise there will be a $20.00 replacement fee due at the time of card distribution.

System Updates

First, determine where your reporting data originates. There are many ancillary systems on campus that provide data, including the Office of the Registrar. Once you have identified the office responsible for providing the data, reach out and request that preferred first name is used, if available. It will be helpful to include the name of the report or system you are referencing.

  • For Office of the Registrar supplied data, contact Debra Joyce, dtjoyce@uncc.edu.

As we incorporate preferred first name (PFN) and photos into these campus tools, we want you to be aware that there could be discrepancies. For example, if we incorporate PFN into the class roster, but have not yet updated the grade roster, there could be a disconnect. The purpose of this page is to make you aware that different systems and reports will begin utilizing PFN and/or photos at different times. We are prioritizing the most frequently used systems first. We will update the chart as additional systems are added. 

Using Preferred First Name

Some campus departments interact with and send reports to federal, state, and other government agencies that verify the identity of a student, faculty, or staff by using their legal name and other personally identifiable information that prohibits the use of preferred first names.  View the System Updates chart to see where preferred first name will not be used.

Even though these systems may not be using preferred first name, UNC Charlotte is still committed to using preferred first name when interacting with students and colleagues. It is important to use one's preferred first name to create a more welcoming and affirming campus environment, as a way to personalize the UNC Charlotte experience. 

It is important to know how to search using the preferred or legal first name.  This could be different depending on the systems being accessed.  If a preferred first name is provided, that is the name that should be used.

Intentionally and persistently not using the name and/or gender pronoun that corresponds to the gender identity with which a student or employee identifies could be considered unlawful sex discrimination under federal law. Any student or employee who believes they are being discriminated against in this manner should report the behavior at incidentreport.uncc.edu. The report will be directed to the appropriate university office for review and response.

If you notice an inappropriate preferred first name used by a student, reach out to the Office of the Registrar, so that they can connect with the student.  If you notice an inappropriate preferred first name used by a faculty or staff member, reach out to Human Resources, so they can connect with the employee.

We are striving to create an ethically responsible, respectful, and inclusive campus environment in alignment with the vision and values of the university.  If you unintentionally use a student's or employee's legal first name, correct yourself once you notice or when feedback is provided, apologize, and continue to practice utilizing preferred first name.  

If the unintentional use of preferred first name is a result of confusion with an LGBTQ student, we encourage you to attend Safe Zone training to become more aware of how important it is to use a correct preferred name with the LGBTQ community.  For other training opportunities, reaching out to knowledgeable offices, such as Title IX, Human Resources, etc. is encouraged.