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Chosen Name Policy

Chapter 3077

Created November 5, 2020, Updated September 28, 2022

Table of Contents

.010 Chosen Name Policy

.020 Definitions

.030 Procedures

.040 Sanctions
.050 Questions

.010 Chosen Name Policy

Kansas State University recognizes that students and employees may use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Many members of the university community use a name that differs from their legal name. These may include individuals who choose to use a:

  • Shortened derivative of a first name.
  • Middle name instead of a first name.
  • Name that better represents the individual’s identity (e.g., gender identity or gender expression, racial, religious, cultural).
  • Name adapted to English usage in place of a non-English personal name.
  • Name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing.
  • Stage or performance name.

Employees shall make reasonable efforts to reference students and employees by their chosen name when calling that person by name in the course of university business and education, when the speaker (or person otherwise referencing the student or employee) knows the chosen name or reasonably should know the chosen name.

Except when the use of an individual’s legal name is required by law or policy, the university’s systems and procedures shall identify students and employees by the chosen name they have designated in accordance with this policy. The university will employ a phased implementation process to accomplish this goal.

.020 Definitions

Chosen Name – An alternative to the individual’s legal name as designated by the individual in university systems. A chosen name must be a name the individual uses on a daily basis. A chosen name may be reflected as a “Preferred Name” in some systems that at present may not be able to be modified.

Legal Name – The name an individual uses for official governmental documents, such as licenses, passports, and tax forms. For employment purposes legal name is identified on their social security card. A legal name is referred to as “primary name” in existing university data systems. There are some university-related instances where a legal name may be required (e.g., sponsored research).

.030 Procedures

An individual who adopts a chosen name that is different from that individual’s legal name acknowledges that the chosen name is or will be actually used to identify that individual. Students submit their chosen name through KSIS. Employees submit their chosen name through a Human Capital Services form.

The university may revoke or deny a chosen name if a person’s selection or use of a chosen name is for the purpose of, or results in, misrepresentation, misidentification, fraud, avoiding a legal obligation, libel, discrimination including harassment, threats, inciting violence, lewdness, obscenity, profanity, or promotion of commercial purposes. A chosen name in most cases shall not be a message, or company or group’s name. A chosen name shall only consist of letters and shall not be unduly lengthy. The Office of the Registrar or Human Capital Services will determine if a chosen name is appropriate under these criteria for students and employees respectively.

The university recognizes an individual may choose a name other than their legal name more than once during their time at the university as they navigate decisions around their identity. Employees and students may change their chosen name one time per year absent necessary or extenuating circumstances, such as to reflect gender identity.

University Issued Identification Cards

An individual’s chosen name will be printed on that individual’s Kansas State University identification card. University ID cards are issued for the purpose of university business, and cards issued with chosen names shall not be used for voting identification, to obtain a state identification card, or for any other purpose for which a legal name is required.

Employees or students who update their chosen name after being issued an identification card can request a replacement card, subject to applicable charges.

Systems and Processes

Kansas State University utilizes multiple systems to manage its operations and processes. Wherever possible, the university will modify systems to display only the chosen name. Instances in which a legal name is required include, but are not limited to, financial aid forms, tax forms, university transcripts, and health records.

Since employees and students will be able to update their chosen names at any time throughout the year in the main enterprise systems, other university systems that are dependent on data that is primarily stored in the enterprise systems must be refreshed on a regular, scheduled basis as much as practical.

University employees with oversight responsibility of university information technology systems, who are unable to bring the applicable system in compliance with this Policy as related to employee and/or student chosen names, must develop a plan of action to articulate what is needed to bring that system into compliance. Those employees shall submit the plan to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and collaborate with the CIO or designee to reasonably resolve the matter to allow for the use of chosen names where legally permitted.

.040 Sanctions

In addition to other remedial actions available for a Policy violation, the university may also deny or revoke the use of a chosen name based on violations of this Policy.

.050 Questions

For student record questions:

Office of the Registrar, 785-532-6254, registrar@k-state.edu

Student Support & Accountability and the LGBT Resource Center are also supportive resources for students with questions regarding the chosen name Policy.

For employee record questions:

Human Capital Services Resource Center, 785-532-6277, hr@ksu.edu 

For Campus ID card questions:

K-State ID Center, 785-532-6399, wildcatcard@k-state.edu

For Data System questions:

Office of the Chief Information Officer