Mark McConahey, Associate Vice Provost and Registrar at Indiana University Bloomington, and self-described “Brad Pitt of Identity Management,” and Mary Beth Myers,Registrar at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, will be getting existential at this year’s Annual Meeting with their session “How Do I Know You Are Who You Say You Are?”
At the session, they’ll tackle some of the fundamental issues around verifying student identity and offer Indiana University’s model as an example of effective security practices.
See this session and others at AACRAO's 100th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. Register today!
Associate Vice Provost and Registrar at Indiana University Bloomington
AACRAO Technology Conference Director
Mary Beth Myers
Registrar at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
1. How did the idea for this session come about?
In the course of conversation between the two of us (Mary Beth and Mark) we found it compelling that while there is much concern about identity management and authenticating that the correct student is “logging in” and participating in an online class, historically, there seemed little similar concern for brick and mortar classes. We know that for a variety of reasons, (FERPA, HEOA, guardianship of the record, etc.) that we do have a responsibility here and that we enable/offer a great many services based upon our “trust” of authentication and Identity practices.
As part of this brainstorming conversation, we also recognized that we—Indiana University—have, in general, a very good identity management system and a fantastic authentication system for online transcript processing (at least we think so). The authentication scheme for former students was developed in-house. So, we thought “how do we know who you are” with respect to brick and mortar classes, online classes, and then highlighting our online transcript request process (which actually makes use of the students IU official record for the authentication) might make an interesting session. If not, we figured that between the two of us, perhaps we could have some fun talking about it anyway. Intriguing….right?
2. Who will benefit from the session, and what will they take away? How will the session impact attendees?
Anyone charged with or interested in verifying student identity either in the classroom (real or virtual) as well as authentication in other aspects of providing services to students (and others) remotely. We will concentrate on services performed by the Registrar, but the concepts/processes and practices are extensible to other professions. We will focus on one specific example, online transcript processing, but the discussion will include:
Brick and mortal classroom attendance, including pros and cons of swipe cards
Some of the current Identify Management tools and practices in place for authentication of online classes
The IU online transcript authentication process that makes use of the student’s actual official record as the basis for authentication. By doing so, we can provide the service not only to currently enrolled students but to all prior students with little overhead to the institution.
So, in the end, the session will cover three very different ways to administer student authentication and we hope attendees will “think outside the box” a bit.
3. What's an unexpected or compelling aspect of the session?
It is our belief that IU’s use of the student’s official record for online transcript request authentication is a compelling and creative way of providing online transcript service to ALL IU students…current and former. That process and its’ success will be discussed as an illustration of how we, as Registrars, can think broadly and creatively about BEST authentication in terms of both efficiency for the institution and confidence in the student’s identity.
4. Do you have fond memories of your first AACRAO Annual Meeting, or another past meeting that stands out? (In honor of AACRAO's 100th Annual Meeting, we're soliciting anecdotes or memories of past conferences.)
Mary Beth: I have vivid memories of my first presentation at an AACRAO Annual Meeting. It was in a HUGE ballroom and extremely well-attended. I was presenting on the new Automatic Call Distribution system we were using in our frontline service area at IU having been asked to present by our Associate Registrar over the Systems area at the time. I was….to be blunt…SHOCKED at the interest/attendance. I was feeling good and doing fine until the IU Registrar at the time, Jerry Pugh, walked into the back of the ballroom and leaned against the back wall, crossed his arms, and “watched.” At that particular moment, after a moment of ‘flutter’ I felt really “connected” to the Registrar profession and AACRAO. It was at that moment that I hoped to have a long future with both. 35+ years later, here I am!
Mark: I remember one of the first AACRAO’s I attended; the plenary speaker was Alex Haley (I think in Nashville, TN). Mr. Haley’s command of the room was complete; as he told story after story about growing up in the Deep South and about how these experiences related to education (and specifically higher education), the room was spell-bound. As he spoke, you could, literally, hear a pin drop – 2,500 – 3,000 attendees sat mesmerized by what he had to say. It was, to this day, the best plenary speech I have ever heard. This was truly one of AACRAO’s proudest moments!