Chosen/Preferred First Name

How to update chosen/preferred first name

  • “Chosen/Preferred first name” is the name you would like to be addressed as in emails, classroom settings, or everyday conversations. It may differ from your legal name.
  • To view or update your preferred first name, log in to MyCharlotte > My Tasks/Announcements >Personal Information > Personal Information.

System Updates

Chosen/Preferred First Name (PFN)

  • The chart below shows where chosen/preferred first name (PFN) is currently being utilized, where it is planned for the future, and which areas are unable to utilize it due to state or federal reporting requirements.
  • Please check back often, as this will be updated as new systems are added/updated.
  • Class Roster Awareness: Class rosters can be pulled from Canvas or Self-Service Banner. Canvas rosters (preferred) will utilize PFN, but Self-Service Banner (SSB) rosters will not. SSB will only display legal first name. Please be aware of this difference and know that we are addressing it in our next SSB upgrade.
Currently using PFNPlanning to use, or researching the use of, PFN in futureWill not use PFN3
49er ID1Archibus (Facilities Management System)Bursar/Student accounts
49erMart (Purchasing Portal)Banner Self Service (waiting on SSB9 go-live)
– Class Rosters
– Grade Submission
– Advisee Reports
Campus Reporting (Some reporting retains legal first name externally.)
Academic PetitionCanvas (Learning Management System)
– Grade Submission
– Advisee Reports
Employee Benefits
Advising Transcript (in Self-Service Banner)My49erNetworkEnrollment Verifications
Appeals System (satisfactory academic progress & academic suspension appeals)Niner Research (electronic research administration system) – work to begin 12/6/22 (ETA – fall 23)Financial Aid
Campus Labs (course evals)Unofficial Transcripts (waiting on SSB9 go-live – ETA Sept 2023)International Student Visa Status
Campus Reporting (most have been updated, but this is ongoing) Official Transcripts
Canvas (Learning Management System)
– Class Rosters
Career Center Systems Student Health Insurance
Chancellor’s & Dean’s List (online listing and congratulatory notifications to permanent home addresses) Starting Fall 2021  
Cherwell (OneIT Service Request System)  
Cisco (Voice/Phone System)  
Connect (Advising System)  
Cornerstone LMS (Human Resources Learning & Development Portal)  
DegreeWorks (Degree Audit)2  
Email display name/alias (Gmail)4  
Hire-A-Niner (student employment)  
Housing & Residence Life (assignments/rosters)  
Kronos WorkForce Timekeeping  
MobileOrder App (campus restaurants)  
My Charlotte  
NameCoach (voice-recorded & phonetic spelling – used during commencement)  
Niner Connection (Alumni Online Community)  
Niner Engage (student orgs)  
Niner Scholars (email & award correspondence)  
NinerTalent (Applicant Tracking, Position Management, Performance Management, and Salary & Position Processing for Permanent Faculty & Staff) – PeopleAdmin  
NinerWorks (non-student temp employees/graduate assistantships hiring)  
Online People Finder  
Qualtrics (survey & analysis tool)  
Salesforce (Niner Central)  
– Grad Admission Application
– Undergrad Admission Application
– Undergrad Re-Enrollment Application
– SOAR Orientation RSVP System
Zoom Profile (web conferencing)  

1 49er ID: Please be aware that if you have plans to use your 49er ID for various legal, immigration, employment or voting purposes, the name listed on your 49er ID may not match records maintained by other agencies outside of Charlotte.


Degree Audit: Shown when faculty, staff and advisors (not students) search for a student’s audit. The search will only consider PFN, if it exists. Finding the student using the legal first name does not work. There is currently no functionality to support searching by both the preferred name and the legal name. 3 While the official record and reporting must use legal first names, related communications on campus could utilize chosen/preferred first names if they exist. 4 Google caches names. While Charlotte might reflect a new chosen/preferred first name, email recipients may maintain a cached version of the former first name, if a prior contact was made before the change. Therefore, each recipient has to update their own contact list to reflect the new name.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the reasons for this option?

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

What is a preferred first name?

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

Can I request any preferred first name I want?

Yes, although…

  • 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.
Can I specify a preferred middle or last name?

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.

How do I submit a preferred first name?

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

Do I have to get a new 49er ID if I submit a preferred first name?

No, the decision to request a new 49er ID physical card is entirely optional. Mobile 49er IDs usually update in 24 hours.

How do I get a new physical 49er ID with my preferred first name?

After submitting your preferred first name in Banner Self Service, allow 24 hours for your record to update and export to your 49er ID. If you require a physical card, you can request a new 49er ID card at the 49er ID Office located in the Popp Martin Student Union.

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

How much will a new 49er ID cost?

If you exchange your current physical 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.

If my department wants to begin utilizing preferred first name, who do I contact?

This will depend on how you want to utilize preferred first name (PFN). If there is a report that you are currently using that does not utilize PFN, this can be added, replacing the legal first name if PFN has been submitted. If you are using a system other than Banner, the feed to that system could be adjusted. The Office of the Registrar can help identify the next steps, depending on your needs. You are encouraged to find ways to incorporate PFN into your departmental operations.

Why does my preferred first name appear in some places, but not others?

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 Jessica Miller,

Do federal, state, and other government agencies use 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, 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 Charlotte experience.

I work the main desk or front counter for my department. How does this impact me?

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.

What if I intentionally do not use a student, staff, or faculty member’s preferred first name and/or preferred gender pronoun?

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 using the specific report for gender-based harassment. The report will be directed to the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX for review and response.

What if I see misuse?

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.

What if I unintentionally use a student, staff, or faculty member’s legal name instead of their preferred first name?

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.