In Spring 2014, the University of California, Davis launched a Preferred Name Policy that allows students to add a preferred name using the campus online directory system. When at all possible, the preferred name is then used on campus.
According to the Trans Policy Clearinghouse, UC Davis joins 74 other campuses in the U.S. and Canada and 7 other California campuses in allowing the use of a preferred name on campus documents and records. In the UC system, they follow the example of UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz.
In addition, UCLA is on course to use a preferred name system in Fall 2014, and UC Riverside is implementing a new preferred name policy in the next two years as the campus switches to Banner for its student information system.
The University of Vermont was a trailblazer in allowing all students to select a preferred name online when they launched their system in 2009.
Other California campuses using preferred names are Cal Tech, Cal Poly SLO, Chapman University, Stanford University, and USC.
CR80 News reported on the UC Davis preferred name policy in a recent post:
A student ID can verify an individual’s identity with a simple swipe, tap or scan, instantly tethering the person who presents the card to a user account on the backend system. But what happens when the cardholder no longer uses their legal name?
It’s a challenge that the University of California at Davis is meeting head on by enabling students to have a non-legal name printed on their IDs. The university’s Preferred Name Program is acknowledging that an individual’s identity is just as much reflected in the moniker that they respond to as the information stored in the backend system.
The program was instituted following requests from UC Davis students, in an attempt to better accommodate transgender and foreign students who don’t use or respond to their given name. Understandably, a legal first name may be substituted on the student ID so long as the use of a preferred name is not for the purpose of falsification.
UC Davis acknowledges that a preferred name should be used whenever possible throughout the student’s university experience – including university records.