Johns Hopkins University students, staff, and faculty now have the ability to designate a preferred name in university databases, the result of a recent institutionwide change that reflects the university's commitment to inclusion.
Individuals can input their preferred name by logging into the myJHU portal and selecting myProfile. The profile page contains two new fields—preferred first name and preferred full name.
Prior to this update, the only other name option in the portal was the nickname field. But those behind the change say that "nickname" doesn't accurately describe the full range of reasons someone might go by an alternate name.
Those who might be served by a more flexible name field include students who go by a different name as a reflection of their gender identity, or those who go by an Americanized alternative to a name in their native language, according to Kimberly Hewitt, vice provost of institutional equity.
"Johns Hopkins University values the diversity of its community and strives to create an environment where all students, staff, and faculty can fully and genuinely participate in the academic and work experience," Hewitt said in a statement regarding the changes. "By empowering the community to use their preferred or chosen name, we endeavor to continue to foster a safe academic and work environment."
Once updated in the myJHU portal, the preferred name will be used in the portal search, JHED system, and the Global Address Book.
The change is merely the first step in an overhaul of how Johns Hopkins' various computer databases treat student and faculty names. The preferred first names established in myJHU will auto-populate in other applications, including Outlook and Office 365, CoursePlus, the StarRez Housing Portal, and Degree Audit for all schools except the School of Nursing and School of Medicine.
Jeff Greer, a business solution analyst with IT@Johns Hopkins, said the hope is to have more systems pull the preferred name information automatically by the fall semester. For the time being, students will have to input their preferred name manually for many systems, including:
- Student Information System (SIS)
- Interlibrary Loan
- Homewood Disability Services
- Student Counseling
- Homewood Student Health and Wellness Center
- Athletic Team Rosters
- Homewood Rec Center
- Alumni Relations
These manual changes can be made on the Preferred Names information page.
In addition to the Preferred Name changes, a Preferred Full Name and a Maiden or Former Name option is available on mJHU portal searches, the Global Address Book, Outlook/Exchange, and Office 365 for those who wish to include middle names or additional identifying information.