UC Merced is a 2006 Laureate in the Computerworld Honors Program based on the identity-based service architecture the Information Technology department developed for the new campus.
Being part of the Computerworld Honors Program validates the extent of our accomplishments and celebrates a staff that has performed miracles, said Chief Information Officer Rich Kogut. Kogut will attend the Laureates Medal Ceremony in Washington on June 5, representing IT staff members who implemented the identity-based architecture.
Starting from scratch, we have implemented our identity management system so that a person needs to remember only one login and password, even if he or she begins as an applicant, then progresses to become a student, an alumnus, an employee or even a faculty member at UC Merced someday, Kogut said. In addition to being more convenient for users, the system enhances security.
The university has assigned distinct roles for its portal and Web site from the beginning, allowing each to be customized for its own goals. The UC Merced home page is primarily a marketing tool for future students, faculty and staff. The portal, which is universal for all UC Merced users, interfaces with the identity management system to customize its display for different users.
UC Merced’s Cat Card, or campus ID card, is a physical manifestation of the identity management system. It is used as a debit card, a library card, and ID card and an electronic door key. The Cat Card is even linked to the laundry system in on-campus housing, allowing users to check online to see when their laundry is done.
Another important requirement for this entire system was a high level of automation. This helps the IT department conserve financial and personnel resources to focus on more innovative problem solving for the future as UC Merced grows to serve approximately 25,000 students over the next 30 years.
UC Merced IT staffers have also consciously chosen open-standards solutions in order to avoid vendor lock-in and maintaining a competitive playing field. This also benefits users, who can choose their favorite browsers and e-mail clients.