App State’s chosen first name initiative to include staff and faculty


Kaitlyn Potochnik and Mia Seligman

Faculty and staff are able to change their first name on their AppCard to match their preferences as of Sept. 1, according to an email from Chief Diversity Officer Jamie Parson.

Employees are able to update their AppCards free of charge during the month of September, regardless of if they have legally changed their name or not. Beginning next month, there will be a nominal fee of $25 to update AppCard information.

“This is part of an ongoing initiative to facilitate more consistent usage of faculty and staff preferred names across university systems,” Parson said. “Names are an important part of someone’s identity, and the ability to use a preferred or chosen name is essential to feeling welcome and included.”

This option only applies to first names, according to the university’s chosen first name initiative webpage.

To update and receive a new AppCard, faculty and staff can head to Campus Services Express, located on the second floor of the bookstore. 

The course schedule search and business services sites will show the employee’s chosen first name, based on updated AppCard information. Steps on how to update preferred first name on other university sites can be found on the university’s chosen first name initiative webpage. 

Updates typically take 24 hours to process but may take up to two weeks.

If a member of the faculty or staff does decide to change their name on their AppCard, it can no longer be used as a legal form of identification in certain circumstances, according to Parson’s email announcement. Updated names applied to AppCards do not apply to other legal identifiers and will only appear in university records.

This announcement succeeds the chosen first name initiative for students, announced last October, which allowed students to use a first name on their student identification other than their given name.

We have over 1,000 auxiliary systems and forms to assess. Prior to making the change, we worked through these logistics, which included coordinating with many university departments that support faculty, staff and students,” Parson said. “We also established a task force to continue identifying opportunities for improving the availability and processes for using chosen and preferred names.”