Changes to student name display in Microsoft 365, Active Directory and LDAP directories

To support the rapid move to blended learning at the University, Information Services are making the following changes to student name display within Microsoft 365, Active Directory and LDAP Directory. 

These changes have been requested by the academic community and supported by the Directors of Education, the E-Learning Team, and University Autumn Taskforce planning group. 

Microsoft 365, Active Directory and LDAP previously has differentiated staff and students by displaying only the initials for student names, rather than full first name. These naming conventions applied throughout the Microsoft 365 range of applications including Teams and Outlook as well as other IT systems such as Moodle. 

Feedback from the academic community has requested a change to this policy. As academic staff have not necessarily had an opportunity to meet students face-to-face, students being identified by just an initial rather than a full first name in Teams meetings could potentially make communication between the lecturer and student impersonal. 

In response to this, we are changing the policy on the Global Address List so that students first names are displayed in full and not just their first initial. 

This change has been made on 25 September and will affect Microsoft 365, Active Directory and Single Sign On (LDAP) plus associated downstream systems, however it may take a few days before users will see the change. 

When sending emails, please exercise caution in selecting the appropriate recipient to ensure that confidential information is not sent in error.

If there is a student with the same name as a member of staff, you can confirm you are emailing the correct individual by looking in the ‘Title’ field of the Outlook address book, or by hovering your mouse over the name in the ‘To’ field in Outlook – this will either display the staff role for a member of staff, or Student for a student.

If you have any questions particularly about this change, please contact IT Service Desk by email on helpdesk@kent.ac.uk or call 01227 82 4888. 

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