Names & Pronouns FAQs

1. What if I don't use my legal name?

Someone who wishes to be commonly known by a name that is different from their legal first name can set that in PeopleSoft. Legal name changes in campus systems must be handled by the Office of the Registrar or by Human Resources.

2. What are Personal Pronouns?

Personal pronouns are those that an individual chooses for themself and wants others to use when talking to or about them. The Queer Workplace Exchange for Employee Retention & Student Success has more details.

3. Can I set or change my name and pronouns to whatever I want?

You can set a name that you want to be known by in university systems instead of your legal name, where such usage is currently supported. You can set pronouns to be used on class rosters for faculty and in Canvas. The University reserves the right to remove a name or pronoun if it is inappropriate or being used for misrepresentation or to evade legal obligations. Inappropriate use of a name or pronouns may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will be referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

4. Will my name and pronouns be used for everything at the University?

We’re using your name in as many places as we can. Bear in mind that your legal name will continue to be used anywhere a legal name is required - on your diploma, official and unofficial transcript, and any documentation involving financial aid or student accounts. For some of these services, you may need to provide government ID containing your legal name (such as when picking up a check).

Right now, pronouns are being used in Canvas and PeopleSoft on the class roster and faculty advising pages. ITS will be adding them to systems that use biological gender over the course of time, starting with the Student Health Center. If you'd like to see pronoun preferences added somewhere, please let us know!

5. Can I change my email address to match my preferred name?

Anyone who has made a change to their identity or legal name can request a change to their Humboldt User Name, which will change their email addressJust submit a request to the Technology Help Desk and they'll walk you through the process.  

6. May I request an Humboldt User Name that uses my  name?

Students who have made a change to their identity legal name can request a change to their Humboldt User Name. Just submit a request to the Technology Help Desk and they'll walk you through the process. This option is in process for staff and faculty.

7. May I request an Humboldt ID card with my name?


8. Will faculty see my name in Canvas?

Yes! It may take up to two days for the name to display in Canvas after you make the change, but it will be there.

9. Can I specify a last name?

No. Last names can be changed only as a result of a legal name change. You must file a Name Change request with the Office of the Registrar to do this.

10. Am I required to set a name or pronouns?

No. We will use your legal name if nothing else is provided. Updating your name is entirely optional. You can change this at any time.

11. How long will it take for my name to appear and be used by the University?

Once you set your name in PeopleSoft, it will automatically appear and be used on the Class and Grade rosters right away. It may take a couple of days for your name to appear in Canvas and other systems. FAQ 4 above has more information about limitations on the use of names. Changes to gender pronouns will update in class rosters immediately.

12. Do I need to change my password when I set change my name?

Maybe. If your existing password contains your name, your might have trouble logging out. Our password rules prohibit us from using our names in the password. If your password happens to include your name, we recommend that you change it.

13. I still have questions. Who can I talk to?

You can contact the Office of the Registrar at or the Technology Help Desk at

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