Identity Management, Active Directory, How to Change Display Name for Faculty/Staff

This page contains information on changing your display name for Active Directory-based services, including Exchange, Skype for Business, Office 365 apps, and most applications protected by Shibboleth.

This page describes how to change your display name in Active Directory if you are staff/faculty. This change will appear in any service that uses the UOFI Active Directory, including Unified Communications, Exchange email and calendaring, Skype for Business instant messaging, the Illinois Wiki, Compass 2g, and more. 

How to change your Active Directory display name

Active Directory uses legal name information from Human Resources data in Banner to create a display name for you, used by applications. Display names in Active Directory are shown using "lastname, firstname middle" notation for consistency. You cannot change the order in which the name components are displayed.

If you want to change the name that is displayed, you may use one of the four options:

1. Request a Published/Professional Name to be added to your record (Faculty only)

Some faculty prefer to go by a Published or Professional Name (PPN), a name that is widely recognized or published in print that is alternate to their their legal name. The most common example is someone who established their academic reputation under a maiden name, but since changed their legal name due to marriage, and would like to preserve their previously-published name. Please note that the PPN is not designed to replace first names with nicknames, such as replacing "Jonathan" with "Jon," unless there is a well-documented reason. 

The PPN supports an alternate first name, middle name, and/or last name. Changes have been made to various student systems to display a faculty's PPN if one has been entered into Banner. Once in Banner, the PPN, instead of the legal name, will display in Banner Student Self-Service, the mobile schedule application, the schedule extract used for online Course Explorer, some Banner forms, the Banner class rosters, the EDW, the online directory, UOFI Active Directory, Exchange email and address book, Skype for Business address book, learning management systems (Compass 2g, Moodle), and most centrally-managed IT services.

Employees or department HR contacts should make a PPN request via email to Once a request is received, Illinois HR will send email notification of the name change to both the employee and the department/college contact. The notification will provide a one week lead time for the college/department to dispute the change. If no response is received, IHR will add the PPN in the employee's record in Banner. 

Your legal name will continue to be used in some applications, where required.

2. Update your Legal Name

See Article: Identity Management, Legal Name Change

3. Specify a Preferred First Name

You may set a preferred first name in your My UI Info portal. This name will replace your first name in many university systems. This will not change your legal name on record with the university. Please refer to for more information. This will display in the Active Directory.

Note: Specifying a preferred first name will also hide your middle name. You can set your preferred first name as your legal name to only hide your middle name, if desired. 


  1. Navigate to and select "My Profile", then "Access my Profile". Then, log in.
  2. Scroll down to the Demographic Information and Veteran Status section and click Edit.
    Demographic info and Vet status
  3. Enter your preferred first name in the box, and scroll down to select Submit.

4. Request a custom display name

This option should only be used to better reflect a faculty or staff member's professional identity, and is not to be confused with the Published Professional Name, which takes precedence. This custom display name will also affect the name that appears in the Illinois Directory as well as in applications that use the UOFI Active Directory, but will NOT appear in any Banner or HR systems.
Acceptable uses of custom display names include:
  • A middle name instead of first name
  • An abbreviated name (Rob instead of Robert, Jen instead of Jennifer)
  • First and middle initials (D.L. instead of Donald Lawrence)
  • An anglicized name (Wendy instead of Haiyan)
  • A name to which you are in the process of legally changing
  • A name that better represents your gender identity
  • A maiden name that is not part of your legal name

You may not use this display name to misrepresent who you are, or use any profane or offensive language in your custom display name. Those who intentionally misuse the custom display name option may be subject to disciplinary action.

Note: Updating your custom display name does NOT change your legal name across University systems. 
Requests for a custom display name can be directed to