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Key Component of Higher Education Directory Service Released

Posted on Feb 15, 2001 by Doug Howell
Tags: eduPerson & eduOrg, eduPerson and Related Schema, imported, Middleware, Products & Services

New Standard Facilitates Access to Applications and Resources across Higher Education

Washington, DC, February 15, 2001 — A joint Internet2(R) and EDUCAUSE working group today announced the release of "eduPerson," a key building block for services that provide seamless access to network-accessible information regardless of where or how the original information is stored. Widespread adoption of the eduPerson standard in institutional directories will enable a broad and powerful new class of applications to be deployed across higher education.

"This is the first step in building an environment that opens new dimensions for sharing information across organizations," said Keith Hazelton, Senior IT Architect, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The eduPerson specification provides a set of standard higher-education attributes for an enterprise directory, which facilitate inter-institutional access to applications and resources across the higher education community.

  1. A faculty member teaching a class at one institution would be able,through a brief series of pull-down menus, to authorize access to the class web site for students who are enrolled in a linked class at another institution.
  2. An institution could agree to license a database for students in aparticular school, and use attributes within eduPerson to implement the access controls.
  3. Scientific researchers could reserve specialized computing resources atdistant locations using local services.
  4. A directory of directories within higher education could be created,allowing a user to search effectively and simply through multiple institutional directories in parallel to find public information for a particular person.

The development of eduPerson has been assisted by technical expertise from the lead IT architects of universities such as University of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, University of Washington, and MIT. EDUCAUSE and Internet2 are providing operational support and serving as an interface with other communities of interest within higher education. Keith Hazelton, University of Wisconsin, leads the project team. Other institutions that contributed significantly to the work leading up to version 1.0 include, in alphabetical order: Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Memphis, Michigan Technological University, Penn State, Tufts University, the University of California Office of the President, the University of Michigan, and the University of Southern California.

For information about related efforts, the Directory of Directories and Shibboleth, applications that will be built upon eduPerson see:


EDUCAUSE is an international, nonprofit association whose mission is to help shape and enable transformational change in higher education through the introduction, use, and management of information resources and technologies in teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and institutional management. EDUCAUSE programs include professional development activities, print and electronic publications, strategic/policy initiatives, research and development, and a wealth of online information services. For more information, see:

About Internet2(R)

Led by over 180 US universities working with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow’s Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnership of academia, industry and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy. For more information about Internet2, see:


Greg Wood

Bob Burdick