Our organization maintains Sharepoint lists of our people. Person names come from Person columns. Our Person columns validate against Active Directory (AD).
The trouble is that as a matter of security we are obligated (and I believe Microsoft recommends) to delete AD accounts when an individual leaves. As a result the Person column is ultimately nulled out leaving us with records with no displayable person name. We indefinitely maintain our person records in our lists (even after people leave us) since other records point to these records. It's the standard philosophy of not deleting records on which others depend.
When you bear in mind the recommendation that organizations should be purging their old AD accounts, Person columns seem problematic and impractical. If you use them for displaying names you'll eventually have to deal with lists of people some of which have lost their names. And having to add a separate text-based name column in addition to a Person column seems counter-intuitive.
Should I be adding text-based name columns and not using Person columns? Has someone found a more elegant way to address this?