MyUW Madison - Bug - Updating Preferred Name After Legal Name Change

A Preferred Name can be set in MyUW for those who use a first or middle name other than their legal name. A bug within the app may prevent users from updating their preferred name after a legal name change.

Error Message

When updating a preferred name, only very specific aspects of the last name field can be altered (capitalization, spacing, and some punctuation). If a preferred name is set and then a legal name is updated, any attempts to change the preferred name will be checked against the legal last name from when the preferred name was initially created. 

The following error will appear:

"For last name, you may only change capitalization, spacing, apostrophes and hyphens."

Example: Buckingham Badger has a preferred name of "Bucky Badger". Bucky gets married to Goldy Gopher and changes his last name, so he is now legally Buckingham Gopher. After HR updates his legal name, MyUW shows Bucky's legal name as "Buckingham Gopher". However, his preferred name is still showing "Bucky Badger". 

When Bucky tries to update his preferred name to "Bucky Gopher", he gets an error. Bucky's new preferred name follows Preferred Name policy, but the Preferred Name app is mistakenly referring to his former legal last name.


Users affected by this bug can take the following steps to update their preferred name:

  1. Log into MyUW and launch the Preferred Name app.
  2. Click Delete next to the current preferred name.
    "Change" and "Delete" buttons displayed next to listed Preferred Name

  3. A deletion pending message will appear. Wait up to two hours for the deletion to take effect.
    "(deletion pending)" displayed before preferred name after selecting Delete button.

  4. When deletion pending no longer appears, click Change to set a new preferred name.
    Legal name is listed and Preferred First, Middle, and Last Name fields appear with the option to Save or Cancel changes.

  5. The new preferred name should take effect in MyUW within 2 hours. Note that it will take up to 48 hours before this is reflected in all systems that use preferred name, including the UW Directory and Office 365 e-mail accounts.

If you run into any errors or your data does not appear correct, please confirm your legal name has been updated in HRS.

If this workaround does not resolve the issue, please contact the DoIT Help Desk for further assistance.

See Also: