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Service Alerts


November 16, 2014

On November 16, from 4am to 9am: PennCommunity will not be available because of scheduled maintenance. The following PennNames commands rely on PennCommunity and will not be available during this window: add, hold, fullname, generate, regenerate.

PennNames Service - Renaming a PennName

Once a PennName is assigned to a person, that PennName can only be changed under one of the following conditions:

  • a legal name change
  • a PennName is deemed offensive to the Penn community
  • reported email harassment or threats that warrant a change


If you have a user who has a legitimate reason for changing an assigned PennName, please follow this procedure:

  1. Generate a new PennName for the user
    You would use the PennNames client regenerate command to generate a list of PennNames for a person who already has a PennName. If using the PennNames web client, you would use the "generate" option but make sure to check "Generate a new list of names for a user who already has a PennName". Using the regenerate command will then hold all of the names generated for three days.

  2. Request a PennNames change
    Send mail to the ProDesk requesting a PennNames change. Please specify which of the regenerated names is the new PennName that you want assigned to the user. This will create a trouble ticket that will be handled by the PennNames staff.

    PennNames staff will:
    • Inactivate the old PennName
      PennNames staff will change the status of the old PennName to "N", preventing any new sponsorships from being added to the old PennName.
    • Notify you that you can continue with the procedure
    • Notify other sponsors of the PennName change
      PennNames staff will notify all other sponsors of the old PennName that a name change has occurred, asking them to update their host systems accordingly and to relinquish sponsorship for the old PennName and add a sponsorship for the new PennName, if applicable.
  3. Relinquish your sponsorship for the old PennName
    Once notified that the status for the old PennName has been changed, you can then relinquish your sponsorship for the old PennName.

  4. Add your sponsorship for the new PennName
    You can now add your sponsorship for the new PennName and any accounts on your systems using the old PennName should be renamed.

  5. Get a new PennKey
    If the old PennName had a PennKey sponsorship, the user must get a new PennKey Setup Code to register the new PennName as a PennKey. Once the user is issued a new PennKey Setup Code the old PennKey will no longer be able to authenticate using the old PennKey. We will monitor for the acquisition of a new PennKey Setup Code and as soon as a code has been requested, we will relinquish the PennKey sponsorship for the old PennName.

  6. Work with your system administrators to make sure that accounts have been renamed
    PennNames staff will notify other sponsors that a PennName has changed but we do rely on the administrator to follow-up to make sure that accounts with the old PennName are renamed. For example, if a user has requested a name change and one of the existing sponsors is Pobox, PennNames staff will notify the Pobox PennNames representative that a user has requested a PennName change. We would ask you to make sure to open a ticket with Pobox email administrators to actually have the account renamed.

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