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myUALR introduces easy access

Submitted by Chelsey McNiel on March 1, 2012 – 10:39 pmNo Comment

Access between UALR systems became more convenient Feb. 27 with the launch of myUALR, a single login portal for Google Mail, Blackboard and BOSS.

According to the In- formation Technology Services, the portal uses student and faculty’s NetID as a login, which is already used to access the campus’ wireless net- work. However, to check email using a desktop or mobile device such as Mac Mail or Outlook, the original login will still be used.

The myUALR project was outsourced to Cam- pus EAI, a vendor based in Cleveland that provides technology for higher ed- ucation institutions. The Office of Communications helped Campus EAI design the portal using a grant.

“It [Campus EAI] is what allowed us to start researching what we could do with portals,” Web Service Coordinator Aaron Baker said. “We [UALR] have a lot of ex- perience implementing these things but we don’t have enough experience or man power to bring one up ourselves.”

Now that the project is up and running, Baker’s part is to act as adminis- trator.

“That’s my role on the en- tire website, to be a liaison between the 500 people on this campus who work on websites and the four peo- ple behind the scenes who help with the work,” Baker said.

Junior human resources major Valena Gilbert said she was looking forward to myUALR and the ease of accessing all three sys- tems simultaneously. “It’s awesome, especially when you’re strained on time. I’m all for the convenience,” Gilbert said.

Although the portal of- fers convenience, some students wonder about the security risk. “I think it’s a good idea, less passwords,” senior criminal justice ma- jor Shawn Rouse said. “But, if someone gets a hold of your password they have all your information in one place.”

However, freshman busi-

ness management major Chynna Simmons said she disagrees. “I think it’s a good thing. I’m not worried about security.”

“The security question does often come up, be- cause people want to think about it – logically,” Baker said. “Each year we get two or three new systems, pretty soon that combined amount of so many usernames and passwords becomes a secu- rity risk in and of itself be- cause people will begin to treat those passwords with- out any regard.”

Senior criminal justice major Justin Holsted offers a possible solution. “It [myU- ALR] sounds awesome, but maybe a security question could be asked, like a bank does, to get to other infor- mation.”

Although personal cus- tomization is not available because myUALR is current- ly functioning at its most

basic level, Baker said the future vision is to allow for individual customization.

“What we’re envision- ing is tailoring information needs on a per person ba- sis,” Baker said. “Let’s say you login, and when you login it tells you that you have three library books overdue, you need to pay the university for that park- ing ticket that you got, you have five email messages and one is from the uni- versity so pay attention to that one, and your class has been canceled. The myU- ALR portal is the only kind of technology that there is to take information from other systems and combine them into one place. That’s hopefully the future of what we’re building.”

To access myUALR visit my.ualr.edu. For more in- formation or to view a video demonstration of the portal visit ualr.edu/itservices.

 

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