Jan 25, 2024

Take control of your digital campus experience with UW

How do you change how your name appears in online tools and systems on campus?

It's a simple question, and it feels like it ought to have a simple answer. But for many UW–Madison community members, the answer can be surprisingly tricky to find.

Searching the UW website for "How do I change my name?" yields results from the Registrar's Office, Human Resources, and KnowledgeBase articles—some created as long as 10 years ago—about how to update your name in individual web tools.

Meanwhile, the answer to your question depends on where you’re trying to update your name, whether you’re a student or an employee, whether you’re trying to update your legal name or simply add your nickname, and a host of other dependencies that can send you down an administrative maze. Then, trying to make the change can be an obscure and fragmented process, requiring communication with multiple people in different offices.

It's 2023. Shouldn't this be easier?

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) recently set out to make it simpler and easier for UW–Madison community members to find and use the resources they need to update their personal information in the university's systems.

The result is UW–Madison Profile, a new and growing service that aims to be the single, accessible, user-friendly place where students and employees can quickly review and update their personal data at the university. Built on Salesforce Experience Cloud, Profile empowers Badgers to see and control more of their personal data and preferences without requiring them to already know what data the university has about them and where it's stored in UW's vast, distributed systems.

"Think of it like a user profile you would find on any website, like Google or Instagram," says Beth Richardson, the software engineer leading the development of Profile. "Profile is where you go when you need to check or update university data related to your enrollment or employment."

Students and employees with active UW–Madison NetIDs can access Profile by visiting or through its dedicated MyUW tile.

When you log into Profile using your NetID, you’ll see a simple menu with the 3 types of data you can view and manage:

From the Profile homepage, you can see your student or employee records at a glance and find easy solutions for making changes or corrections if you discover inaccurate or outdated information.

Does your name always appear in ALL CAPS on university communication platforms? You can use Profile to fix that without even having to leave the app.

In the future, you’ll be able to change even more of your data directly within the Profile app. Until then, the app gives clear instructions written in plain language to help you update university records that you can't yet update in the app.

Making it easier and more transparent to view and manage personal records benefits everyone in the UW–Madison community in ways large and small.

At its most basic, Profile is a more convenient way to take care of tasks most people would rather not worry about. For instance, Profile can help you update your legal name after a life change like marriage or divorce or update your mailing address after you move.

It can also help find solutions to administrative headaches by making it easier to find and fix errors and obsolete data in student or employee records. That can be especially helpful for people with multi-layered relationships with the university, such as alumni who become employees only to find that outdated data from their time as a student has "followed" them to their current employment, making it more difficult to do simple things like get a Wiscard.

Profile's capabilities can also help UW community members show up as their authentic selves on campus in ways that can have a profound effect on their comfort and well-being.

There's nothing more personal than a person's name and pronouns, and ensuring those appear correctly across the communication services we use every day is essential to ensuring that people feel at home on campus. Profile makes it easy to assert your identity in a way that feels true to who you are by giving you the tools and knowledge to share your name, how to pronounce your name, and your pronouns in university services like email, course rosters, Canvas, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Empowering campus community members to take more control of how their peers and colleagues see them in digital spaces is a small but meaningful way to foster a greater sense of belonging on campus, especially for many queer, trans and nonbinary people, as well as international students and employees.

"That's at the heart of what we’re trying to do with Profile," says Richardson. "We know the digital campus is a critical piece of the student and employee experience, and we want Profile to be the foundation of that experience. We want people to see their data and feel like they are in control of their data. We’re trying to give people the power, information and tools they need so they personalize their experience and be themselves in the digital campus the way they are in the physical campus."

After months of development and testing, DoIT launched Profile this spring for the campus community. But this is Profile 1.0. The app is still growing, and developers are working to add even more features to improve the experience in Profile.

In the future, you could update your avatar on UW web services, see your available software downloads and permissions, and connect external accounts to your profile. Profile could open up to more campus community members as well, including prospective students, emeritus faculty, student family members, research affiliates and more.

"There's a lot in flux right now, and we’re still right at the beginning of what Profile is compared to what it could be," says Richardson.

Richardson and the Profile development team are carrying the spirit of empowering users into their own work as well. They’re looking for feedback and ideas from the UW community as more people discover and use Profile for the first time.

To get involved and start taking control of your digital identity on campus, log into Profile using your NetID at Once you’ve checked it out, you can share your ideas and feedback on how to improve the app on the Profile feedback form.

UW–Madison Profile Personal Information: Contact Information: Security Settings: