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TIER Community Contributor Spotlight: Michael Hodges, University of Hawaii

Sep 20, 2016, by Michael Zawacki
Tags: TIER, Trust & Identity, Trust and Identity in Education and Research

Michael Hodges, IT Manager for the University of Hawaii

Michael Hodges, IT manager for the University of Hawaii, has been involved in a variety of technical and managerial IT roles in higher education for several decades and in the utility sector for an additional decade. He has been involved in Identity and Access Management (IAM) specifically for more than a decade, primarily in managerial, project management, and architectural roles. Early projects included LDAP, uPortal, CAS, and UHIMS, and a custom engineered identity management system. Additional projects included File Drop, visitor internet access, and the Whitepages Management System. More recent projects included Shibboleth IdP, Grouper, Message Broker Service, Banner Event Producer, ACER (acknowledgments and certifications), UH Groupings, and Duo MFA. The fruit of these efforts is the robust IAM ecosystem that currently supports all public higher education in Hawaii, including 10 campuses and five education centers on six islands. As a member of the TIER Data Structures and APIs and Entity Registry working groups, Michael has leveraged his work in this diverse environment on projects such as the TIER Reference Architecture.

The University of Hawaii joined the TIER program because "we already have a substantial investment in the Internet2 identity management initiatives and saw the TIER effort as critical for broadening the Internet2 IAM ecosystem, increasing coherency across the ecosystem and implementing the missing pieces," says Michael. As the emerging ecosystem matures, Michael and his colleagues at UH believe they will benefit by substantially reducing the footprint of their custom-engineered code while increasing functionality. In Michael’s words, "Adoption of TIER will make it easier for a new generation of IAM developers to take over the reigns in our shop.

“Adoption of TIER will make it easier for a new generation of IAM developers to take over the reigns in our shop.”

The UH IAM mission statement is to "Provide, support and advocate authentication, authorization and related middleware solutions for securing UH on-line resources." Towards that end considerable effort has been invested in creating an IT "community of practice" with the 300 IT managers and practitioners distributed throughout the university system.

Michael comments, "The TIER project will in time enable us to substantially and expeditiously expand the breadth and sophistication of IAM services available to the entire University of Hawaii IT community."