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New Program Aims to Accelerate Alignment Efforts in Identity and Access Management for Research and Education Community

Posted on Oct 18, 2017 by Sara Aly
Tags: Frontpage News, Recent Posts, TIER, TIER Software, Trust & Identity, Trust and Identity in Education and Research

Program will provide education and training, access to subject-matter experts, and facilitate peer engagement in exchange for participants contributing documentation, presentations, and training on lessons learned for the community-at-large.


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 18, 2017 –  Internet2 announced today ten universities selected to participate in the year-long Trust and Identity in Education and Research (TIER) Campus Success Program that will provide guidance for colleges and universities across the U.S. looking to implement identity and access management (IAM) solutions for their campuses. Modeled after two previous successful middleware adoption programs that Internet2 organized under National Science Foundation grants, the new program will focus adoption efforts on key shared areas of interest identified by the research and education (R&E) community.

The participating institutions are:

  • Colorado School of Mines
  • Colorado State University
  • Georgia Tech
  • Lafayette College
  • Oregon State University
  • Rice University
  • University of California, Merced
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of Michigan

“The nature of research and scholarship is increasingly collaborative. Researchers expect technology without borders, where they can seamlessly exchange and access resources from their colleagues anywhere in the world,” said Kevin Morooney, vice president of trust and identity programs at Internet2. “For identity and access management professionals working to support R&E, this raises technological challenges. The community has been developing solutions to help address these challenges for over a decade, and the TIER program extends those efforts by creating a community-defined set of practices to ensure a common approach to providing access to resources.”

The TIER program at Internet2, supported by 49 investing institutions, grew out of campus discussions and the desire to align efforts to form an open-source, community-developed identity and access management suite, with coordinated campus practices to improve interoperability. It aims to simplify campus processes and advance inter-institutional collaboration and research.

The TIER software components include containerized versions of Shibboleth for single sign-on, Grouper for access management and group provisioning, and COmanage/MidPoint as a provisioning hub and entity registry. There are six community working groups chaired by campus representatives from the investing institutions that provide guidance on building IAM infrastructure and processes that accord with the TIER model.

A successful example of simplifying campus processes being led by a community working group is the incorporation of a standard Application Programming Interface (API) catalog for the TIER software suite. If a campus has a commercial solution for their person and non-person registries that is working well for them, but are spending a large amount of IT resources defining entitlements and authorizations for how application resources are accessed and managed, they have the option to implement the TIER Grouper component as a solution that would easily integrate into their existing environment through the standardized APIs.

Adhering to this open standard will be particularly valuable for institutions looking to maintain existing functionality within their campus IAM infrastructure, while having the flexibility to incorporate TIER software to help with upgrading and simplifying their IAM software solutions.

“Across the R&E community, IT teams are tasked with managing a complicated digital identity lifecycle for our institutions, which includes researchers, students, faculty, staff, and short-term affiliates,” said Michael Erickson, CIO at Colorado School of Mines. “Participating in the TIER Campus Success Program is important because it will benefit not only our internal IAM efforts at Mines, but will ultimately empower a more seamless experience for our faculty and staff as they engage across the R&E community. Through the active collaboration of this diverse group of institutions and with the support of Internet2, I believe we will advance solutions in IAM for our entire community.”

Through the TIER Campus Success Program, Internet2 will provide education and training, access to subject-matter experts to support adoption, and facilitate peer engagement with fellow adopters. Participating campuses have agreed to provide lessons learned and share documents, presentations, project reports, and other artifacts with the community to help accelerate their local adoption efforts.


About Internet2
Internet2 is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 serves 324 U.S. universities, 59 government agencies, 43 regional and state education networks and through them supports more than 94,000 community anchor institutions, over 900 InCommon participants, and 78 leading corporations working with our community, and 61 national research and education network partners that represent more than 100 countries.

Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s research and education network infrastructure supports millions of user applications each day and delivers advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by a community-developed trust and identity framework.

Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Denver, Colo.; Emeryville, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and West Hartford, Conn. For more information, visit or follow @Internet2 on Twitter.

Media Contact: Sara Aly
Communications Manager, Internet2 – (720) 379-9674