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Email Account Naming Policy


Purchase College email is the “official communication channel” for Purchase College. All faculty and staff email addresses published on our public-facing website, and those are their official addresses.


When faculty and staff are hired, their legal name is used for the HR appointment transaction. Completed hiring transactions are fed into the Banner system overnight, and an account is automatically created based upon the name used for the HR transaction.


For full-time matriculated students, the legal name provided on their application is used as the basis for the account name. For CE students, the name provided on their registration form is used as the basis of the account name.


The automated account provisioning process will first try to use the full First.Last legal name to create the account – but there are several conditions that may impact that:


  1. If the derived First.Last account name is already in use,

    1. the system will try appending the Middle Initial and a dash ahead of Last name –or-

    2. the system will try appending a sequence number and a dash ahead of Last name (if Middle Initial is Missing, or already taken)

  2. If the name is too long, the system will use the first character of the first name + complete last name.

    1. the system will try appending the Middle Initial and a dash ahead of Last name –or-

    2. the system will try appending a sequence number and a dash ahead of Last name (if Middle Initial is Missing, or already taken)

  3. Other conditions that impact account name assignment: grandfathered account names from the 90’s - which are phased out as employees retire.

Faculty and Staff Account Names

The account naming process is fully automated. HR paperwork must be completed using your actual legal name. an automated process generates your account name from that legal name. 

However, there is a “preferred name” available for faculty and staff, so professional names can be associated with your email account. 

For faculty and staff wishing to change their account name, please file a CTS Work Order. 

Your account name is used for everything from email to banner to Brightspace to SUNY Time and Attendance systems. 

Changing Account Names:

  1. We do accommodate any actual legal name change

    1. If there is a legal name change, we change the account name.

We do accommodate bad data fixes (typos, misspellings, etc.)

  1. With the Registrar’s approval, we accommodate transitioning individuals with account name changes in advance of the legal name change



In cases of a legal name change (marriage, etc.) upon request we will establish a temporary forwarding alias from the old account name to the new for a period of 90 days to allow previous contacts to acclimate to the new account name.


Other than legal name changes, we cannot entertain any permanent aliases for a variety of reasons. Aliases multiply the namespaces occupied by one individual, and exponentially complicate management of our email system.


Earnest.Employee (legal name) may prefer to be called Ernie.Employee – but when another person arrives with an actual legal name “Ernie.Employee” – the account creation process fails.  


Allowing aliases also invites abuse – some would like to have an alias of “” that would clearly not be appropriate, and CTS cannot adjudicate what is and isn’t appropriate.


Rare exceptions to the “no aliases” rule are possible – but must be kept to a minimum (there are only 2 aliases in use today.)


HRETS makes no accommodation for “professional/preferred name” so – automation is not possible at this time.


Within Banner, the Registrar’s office can accommodate Professional/Preferred names for Faculty, but these only effect how the Faculty’s name will appear within myHeliotrope (SSB).


Professional name would also have the same constraints as legal name – it may be in use already; too long, etc. Professional/Preferred name occupies an additional account namespace (legal name is still the account name, alias is a second name)


Account names exist in perpetuity, so any name that is used – ever - is gone - forever.  This applies to anyone who becomes a student or an employee.  (The only exception is for Accepted applicant accounts – which are purged completely and the namespace recovered if they never actually enroll.)



Use of Off-Site Email for Official Business is prohibited


College accounts are for College business – personal accounts are for personal business. Our policies and recommendations cannot contradict or even muddy that basic distinction.


A faculty member using their address is clearly identifying themselves as a member of the College community on official business. In contrast, is likely to end up ignored and deleted.


Blanket forwarding of email to off-site accounts is disabled. Email often may contain personal, private, and sensitive information about students or about college operations. Blanket forwarding puts official records outside of Purchase College, and is legally problematic.