Uniqname Re-evaluation and Recommendation

Project Complete: Guiding the Future of U-M Uniqnames

The university’s current uniqname ecosystem has served the university for over a quarter of a century. But with an eight-character limit and a desire to include parts of an individual's name, it’s often a challenge to find combinations for common names. Changing uniqnames due to a life event, such as marriage or divorce, is also a manual and time-consuming process. Compounding these challenges is the university’s ever growing population.

Read the Uniqname Re-Evaluation Summary and Preliminary Recommendations. The December 2017 recommendations are based on a thorough assessment of the current current uses, challenges, and applications of the uniqname system, and includes input from partners on all campuses, including Michigan Medicine. 

Of several improvements identified, the joint ITS and HITS project team ultimately recommends pursuing two improvements:

  • Email Alias: Allows individuals the option to use an alternate address as their preferred email. Email alias alleviates the challenge of “unattractive” uniqnames without significant effort and resources.
  • Simplification of Uniqname Change: These improvements focus on streamlining processes used to support uniqname changes, including automating notifications and creating a change history feature.

The team also recommends evolving the project in a second phase not only to implement the improvements, but also to develop a long-term solution to replace uniqnames with a next generation unique identifier. These foundational improvements begin the journey to implementing a sustainable unique identifier universitywide over the next 3–5 years.

The project completed in January 2018. See News and Updates for details on this project’s process. If you’re interested in learning more about this project, please contact the EIAM program team.