Account center password resets, 190 thousand accounts expire


Photo credit: Hannah Yeager

Hannah Yeager

As the semester comes to a close, so does the campus-wide password reset for all Chico State accounts. Student inboxes began to receive reminders to access a newly added program called Account Center in order to reset the passwords that students use for every online program provided through the campus, blackboard learn and portal to name a few.

Every year students will be required to reset their passwords periodically in order to ensure that their accounts are both secure and continuously accessible, according to the IT Support Services page on the Chico State website.

However, there is more to the Account Center than meets the eye. For students, it seems to be a simple “password protection” program that keeps private information safe from hackers and phish. But, to administration and IT Support Services faculty, it is a new platform upgrade, in comparison to a home-built system they had before, according to Scott Kodai IT Support Services manager.

“Behind the scenes what it is, what you don’t see, it manages…it’s called identity management. It automatically creates and provides access to systems behind the scenes based on how you are affiliated with the university,” said Kodai.

There are four different kinds of accounts that the program identifies: new student, active student, graduate student, and former student.

New student gets access to the portal but nothing else because they are only accepted into the school, not quite yet active. The active student is a current student who gets access to all accounts (blackboard, student center, email, and portal).

A graduate student still has access to all things because they are recently graduated. The former student only has limited access because they are no longer “students” and have been out of Chico State for a while. The program identifies accounts as each of these, giving them access to what they need access to, according to the Chico State website.

Because of the recent switch to this platform, the IT Support Services department needed to reset every Chico State password, starting in September and ending a week ago. Most of the 190 thousand terminated accounts were alumni or some other kind of inactive account.

“It’s every student that has ever been here since 1994, or whenever we started using usernames. Most of them didn’t care or didn’t know,” Kodai said. “When they need them back they will call us, but all of the current staff and all of the current faculty had to reset their passwords and they are now all done.”

Chico State, however, is still having issues with the new program. They used to put everything in manually, according to Kodai, and when things are put in manually there are slight oversights or mistakes that do happen, basically common human error, so those inconsistencies mess up the system reboot.

They hope to have the current issues fixed within the next couple weeks. Their hope is to cut down the time that students spend waiting in line to reset passwords because, according to Kodai, the most common need mentioned when students need IT help is password reset.

“So we are really hoping that this limits that (password resets),” Kodai said. “So we have time to do other things.”

Hannah Yeager can be reached at the [email protected] or @theorion_news.