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How to Manage Your Digital Identity at Duke

A makeover to a page on Duke’s self-service online portal makes it easy for staff, faculty and students to update and control pronouns, directory photograph and more

Students walk on West Campus.
Students fill the sidewalks of West Campus prior to the pandemic. Photo courtesy of University Communications.

Students, faculty and staff at Duke University and Duke University Health System can now have greater control over their personal identification data with the launch of an updated account self-service website from the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

The makeover to Duke OIT’s self-service portal helps users review and update their pronouns, chosen/preferred first name, and directory photo, as well as manage where these details are shared.

“You can do a lot of the same things you could do in the old systems, but this is smoother,” said Denise Williams, a network system analyst with the Duke University School of Nursing and part of the group who recently tested the new tool. “Here, it’s easier to find what you need.” 

Duke OIT's new self-service website allows users to review and update their pronouns, directory photo and more. Image courtesy of Duke OIT. These updates are the latest step in a larger initiative aimed at streamlining the process of managing personal information within Duke’s systems and providing students, staff and faculty the opportunity to have their digital identification information more accurately reflect who they are.

“The Duke OIT Self-Service Identity Management tool may seem like a simple IT fix, but it is a huge step in Duke's commitment to transparency,” said Dane Whicker, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and director of Gender and Sexuality Diversity Initiatives in the Duke School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “It also provides more autonomy over information about individuals' identities where it should be – with the identified individual.”

Last year, Duke staff and faculty were given the option to select gender identity, pronouns, and preferred first name in Duke’s personnel database through the Duke@Work self-service portal. Duke undergraduate and graduate students were also able to update their preferred pronouns for use on class rosters and profiles for advisors through DukeHub 2.0.

In addition to making it easier to select pronouns and chosen first names, the updated self-service website allows users to specify whether they want pronouns and other information to appear in the online Duke Directory and other Duke services, or if they’d like them to remain private.

Other features include the ability to see where your identification information is drawn from, allowing users to update any incorrect or outdated data at its source. Users can also update their identification photo for use in the Duke Directory and other Duke services.

The new account self-service website also allows users to set up and manage as many as two email aliases. These email addresses, which are linked to a users’ existing Duke account, can ensure that your email address matches the name you prefer to use.

“With this, if you get married, or go through a gender transition or change your name for whatever reason, or if we’ve provisioned you with an email address you don’t like, you can more easily change your preferred email alias,” said Mary McKee, deputy chief information security officer and senior director of identity management and security services at Duke. 

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