We have a relatively fresh instance of SharePoint Server 2013 and I'm still really new to it so I don't have any ideas of my own on how to accomplish certain things so hoping to just some ideas or directions to solutions on this one. I've searched and haven't found any answers yet.

We have ADFS setup and on initial UPSA import from AD, we get a few groups and term sets automatically created. For example, one of these is a group called People, with term sets of "Department", "Job Title", and "Location". Under "Department" there are tags for things like Academic Success, Admissions, etc.

Actual employee names didn't get imported anywhere. I want people's full names to be displayed UNDER the department tag, so Department > Academic Success > Joe Blow, Susie Smith, etc.

I've read about going into UPSA and checking the box to "configure a term set with this property" but doesn't that rely on you already having created an empty term set for it to import the property to? I want the people to go under the department and not just be their own term set/group.

Would it be better to just import a term set from a csv file?

Any advice is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


By default there are a couple User Profile Properties that are bound to a term set, Department, Location and Job Title (IIRC). I have never seen a customer do this for People, not that you can't, I just haven't seen it. I would not recommend doing this through the UPS interface. (No real technical reason, it just doesn't "feel" right.) The UPS Approach will not put the names under the departments.

I am curious why you want to do this. If it's so that you can discover and search for individuals by department, you can do this in the search center already on the People vertical. There is a Department refiner.

There are a couple of ways to do it. You could use PowerShell or the Client Side Object Model to import the information. The challenge will be keeping it up to date as roles change. The UPS approach will not do this for you.

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