Tech Tuesday: Identity Management system to be implemented by next summer

Tech Tuesday: Identity Management system to be implemented by next summer

From Information Resources and Technologies

Anyone who has purchased a computer, TV, camera or cell phone in the last 10 years immediately understands the meaning of "changing technology." Electronic devices once lasted 10 to 20 years, if not longer. Today, advances in computer and electronic manufacturing render many of these devices obsolete in a year or less. This rapid pace of technological change has presented St. Thomas with the challenge of managing secure access to information and applications.   

The university has a wide range of computing systems that are used by an ever-growing community, which includes: prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, contractors and guests. Each group has its own requirements to access different computer systems at different security levels. Identity Management tracks the complexity between the role a person plays at the university and all the computer systems and security clearances they need. The university’s goal is to make these systems accessible for our users while at the same time maintaining the security of sensitive information.

To address this issue, the University of St. Thomas will implement an Identity Management system from Sun Microsystems that will allow the UST community access to multiple systems using one username and password. Simply put, individuals will be able to use a single username and password to access the university systems they need, making the process faster and easier than ever before.  

Identity Management is in its development phase with the project-implementation date set for summer 2007. The first systems slated to be integrated are: Active Directory, Exchange e-mail, Sun Directory, Oracle Internet Directory, Banner INB and Optix.

Benefits of Identity Management are:

  • Security improvements that reduce the risk of attacks
  • One username and password for UST systems  
  • Automated workflows that manage accounts and security permissions
  • Greater agility when new systems are added, updated or removed
  • Reduced calls to the Tech Desk
  • Satisfaction of current, and the ability to satisfy future, regulatory compliance requirements

What this means for you:

  • Increased use of one username and password for accessing UST systems
  • Quicker creation of accounts for all UST systems
  • Ability to reset your password over the Web by answering challenge questions
  • Ability to have a temporary password e-mailed to a non-UST e-mail account that you specify
  • You'll no longer need to use your SSN to reset your password  
  • Faster service when student, faculty and staff need to change their access requirements 
  • Seamless access across integrated systems (with the goal of adding more systems in the future)


If you have questions about the Identity Management Project, please e-mail Jim Olson. For any other technology-related questions, please contact the Tech Desk at or (612) 327-2512.

Watch the Bulletin Today and the IRT Web site for updates on the Identity Management Project at UST.