MCommunity Sponsor System Overview

The MCommunity Sponsor System allows authorized U-M staff members to create online identities for university-affiliated individuals who do not receive uniqnames and online identities otherwise.

Sponsored individuals include conference attendees, contractors, incoming faculty who need access to U-M resources before the hiring process is complete, academic affiliates and others.

This document provides an overview of the Sponsor System, with details about uniqname types, identity types, sponsorship lengths, minimum data requirements, sponsorship expiration handling and password resets. For step-by-step system use instructions, see Using the MCommunity Sponsor System Via the Web.

Quick Link: Log in to the MCommunity Sponsor System (you must be an authorized sponsorship administrator to log in)

Contents

What Is MCommunity?

MCommunity is a system that stores online resource access information about members of the U-M community at both the university and departmental levels. It is a flexible, centralized, identity management system that U-M campuses and units can use in decentralized ways for providing access to information technology resources and services. The most visible part of MCommunity is the MCommunity Directory.

To learn more about MCommunity, see MCommunity Overview.

What Is the Sponsor System?

The Sponsor System is the part of MCommunity that is used to create uniqnames and online identities for sponsored affiliates, people who are affiliated with the university but who do not receive uniqnames otherwise. Sponsored affiliates include, for example, conference attendees, contractors, incoming faculty who need access to U-M resources before the hiring process is complete, and others.

The Sponsor System allows units to sponsor people as members of the U-M community for specified periods of time. An individual may be sponsored by more than one unit.

Who Can Use It?

Authorized U-M staff members can use the system. To use the system, you must become a sponsorship administrator.

Graphic showing that Sponsors designate Sponsoring Authorities, who authorize and supervise Sponsorship Administrators, who use the Sponsor System to create and manage identities for Sponsored Affiliates in the MCommunity Directory.

Sponsor: A U-M department or unit that sponsors creation and/or management of identities in MCommunity.

Sponsoring Authority: An individual who authorizes sponsorship administrators for specified university departments. It is the responsibility of the sponsoring authority to oversee the sponsorship administrators s/he has authorized and ensure that appropriate policies and guidelines are followed. For more information about sponsoring authorities, see MCommunity Sponsoring Authority Policies and Agreement.

Requester: An individual in the sponsoring department who requests a sponsorship. For example, a conference organizer might request sponsorships with temporary uniqnames for a group of conference attendees, or an administrative staff member might request a sponsorship with a regular uniqname for an incoming faculty member who needs early access to online resources. In some cases, the requester might be the sponsorship administrator.

Sponsorship administrators: Individuals who use the MCommunity Sponsor System to set up sponsored identities and uniqnames. For more about sponsorship administrators, see MCommunity Sponsorship Administration Policies and Agreement.

Sponsorship Requires a U-M Relationship

Sponsorship is a means for U-M units to provide a person who has a university affiliation with a uniqname and online identity for university purposes when that person does not already have an active uniqname through an employee or other affiliation. Sponsorship also provides access to U-M standard computing services for university purposes.

The individual being sponsored must have a current relationship to your unit that requires a uniqname and use of U-M resources. Sponsored affiliates represent your unit through their use of university resources, such as when they send mail from an @umich.edu email address, and you should be comfortable with them including your unit in their email signature and accessing restricted spaces with the Mcard that sponsorship allows them to get.

It is not appropriate to sponsor individuals who do not have a current relationship to your unit and a related need to access and use university resources for university-related purposes. Most university resources are licensed only for U-M purposes and only for current members of the U-M community.

Alternatives (such as Friend accounts and social login) are available for some situations: 

  • Canvas. Students from outside U-M who need access to Canvas can use a Friend account or social login.
  • Zoom. No account is necessary to attend U-M meetings;
  • Documents and storage. Google Drive and Dropbox files can be shared with email addresses outside of Google at U-M.

Uniqname Types: Regular and Temporary

The Sponsor System can assign regular and temporary uniqnames. See the Sponsorship Components Chart below for details about uniqname differentiation.

Regular uniqnames: Most members of the university community have regular uniqnames. They are made up of three to eight alphabetic characters (for example, bjensen). Regular uniqnames are assigned for life and are never reused. Individuals with regular uniqnames who leave the university and return at a later date can usually reclaim their uniqnames and no one else can use them. However, if a sponsored individual with a regular uniqname and minimal identity information on record (that is, a weak identity) leaves the university and returns later, there will not be enough information available to match records in other university systems to verify that this is indeed the same person; in this case, the uniqname cannot be reclaimed, and a new uniqname is created.

Temporary uniqnames: Temporary uniqnames are intended for short-term use. They consist of um, followed by a number generated by the MCommunity Sponsor System (for example, um000000). If a sponsorship and temporary uniqname have expired, a new temporary uniqname is allotted.

Identity Types: Strong and Weak

The identity type is determined by the amount of data collected and depends on whether or not the sponsored individual needs a regular uniqname and UMID. See the Sponsorship Components Chart below for details about identity types.

Strong identity. Most members of the university community have a strong identity. A strong identity in MCommunity has adequate identity data to confidently match it against identities in other U-M systems.

A strong identity results in an entry in Wolverine Access and the creation of a UMID (U-M identification) number. For U-M employees, this number is often referred to as an Emplid. People who are paid by the university are required to have a UMID in M-Pathways.

A strong identity requires one of the following data combinations. If the person being sponsored already has a UMID, this information is already on file and does not require re-entry.

Data Combination 1
  • First & Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
Data Combination 2
  • First & Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Gender
  • Home Street Address
Data Combination 3
  • First & Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Home Street Address

The ITS Service Center can do UMICH password resets over the phone for individuals with strong identities; there is sufficient information on record to verify their identities.

Important! The Sponsor System does not store Social Security numbers. It uses them to search Wolverine Access in order to prevent the creation of duplicate entries. Once it completes the search, it discards the Social Security number.

Weak identity: Minimal information is required to create a weak identity entry in the MCommunity Sponsor System; A first name, last name, and a non-UMICH email address will suffice. Such identities are generally reserved for short-term use.

Uniqnames associated with weak identities cannot be re-used by their owners after they expire because there is no way to verify identity.

People with weak identities who forget their passwords must go to the departmental entity who originally requested their sponsorship for password resets. The requester can ask a departmental sponsorship administrator or the ITS Service Center to reset the password. Either way, the requester must verify the individual's identity; no one else will have sufficient information on record to do so. The requester's identity must be verified before the ITS Service Center can reset a password for a sponsored individual.

Sponsorship Business Reasons

The reason for a sponsorship is defined by the relationship the sponsored individual has with the university. It also depends on whether a regular uniqname and UMID are necessary.

Regular Uniqname Plus UMID

The sponsored affiliates listed below receive a regular uniqname and a UMID. They are listed in Wolverine Access and MCommunity with a limited "self-service" role. This allows them to update their address, phone number and emergency contact information, set a preferred name and sign up for U-M Emergency Alerts.

Incoming Faculty/Staff: When units need incoming faculty and staff to have access to U-M computing resources before they have completed the hiring process, the units can sponsor them. These individuals require a regular uniqname and a strong identity so there is sufficient information on record for their employment data to be matched to their sponsorship entry.

Temporary Staff: Temporary staff members are hired by units for up to one year. Non-student temporary staff who are hired through eRecruit get uniqnames during the hiring process. If a non-student temporary staff member is hired outside of the eRecruit process, use the "Temporary Staff" reason to obtain a sponsorship and regular uniqname so they can access their personal information in Wolverine Access. Even if they already have a uniqname from a previous relationship to the university, they will need to be sponsored so their uniqname can be reactivated and their Wolverine Access self-service role can be set up.

Contractors: Contractors work in university departments, but they do not have a U-M job appointment. These individuals often perform the same professional duties as U-M staff members, may be granted access to critical university business systems and are held to the same standards of accountability as University of Michigan staff. For these reasons, a contractor also requires a regular uniqname and a strong identity.

Academic Affiliates: These are people who have an academic relationship with the university but who are not U-M students or faculty members. Visiting nurses, visiting scholars and other academic visitors are in this category. They require a regular uniqname and a strong identity for stipend or ID badge reception from the university.

Other University Affiliates: These are people who require a regular uniqname and a UMID but who do not fit any of the previously listed sponsorship descriptions. Perhaps, for example, their relationship to the university is more administrative than academic, or their role is unique to the unit with which they are affiliated.

Regular Uniqname

The sponsored affiliates listed below receive regular uniqnames without UMIDs. They have temporary entries in MCommunity and are not entered in Wolverine Access. Once the sponsorship expires, the uniqname cannot be reactivated, and computing services associated with it cannot be reinstated because there is insufficient identity data on file for identity verification. When the sponsorship expires, the entry is removed from MCommunity.

Long-Term Guests: These are individuals who need access to services that require a regular (not temporary) uniqname but for whom only minimal identity data is available. The benefit to departments of this sponsorship type is that the sponsorship can be set up quickly. A UMID is not connected to the sponsorship, and you may need assistance with acquiring one in the future.

Temporary Uniqname

Note: The sponsored guests listed below receive temporary uniqnames. When the sponsorship expires, the entry is removed from MCommunity. The uniqname is essentially disposable; if the sponsorship expires, a new temporary uniqname can be created. However, services associated with the expired uniqname cannot be reinstated and associated with the new uniqname.

Conference/Program Participants: These individuals receive a temporary uniqname for the duration of a conference or other program.

Short-Term Guests: Use this category to sponsor short-term guests who require a temporary uniqname and do not fall into any of the previously listed categories.

Sponsorship Components Chart

Relationship/Business Reason Uniqname Type UMID Identity Type Default Length* Data Required
Incoming Faculty/Staff Regular Yes Strong 6 months Wolverine-Access required data or UMID
Temporary Staff Regular Yes Strong 1 year Wolverine-Access required data or UMID
Contractors Regular Yes Strong 30 days Wolverine-Access required data or UMID
Academic Affiliates Regular Yes Strong 1 year Wolverine-Access required data or UMID
Other University Affiliates Regular Yes Strong 1 year Wolverine-Access required data or UMID
Long-Term Guests Regular No Weak 1 year Full name & non-UMICH email address
Conference/Program Participants Temporary No Weak 30 days Full name & non-UMICH email address
Short-Term Guests Temporary No Weak 90 days Full name & non-UMICH email address

Note: Sponsorship administrators can change the suggested (default) sponsorship length when they set up sponsorships. The maximum length is 1 year. All sponsorships are renewable as long as they have not yet expired.

Computing Services For Sponsored Individuals

Sponsored affiliates automatically receive some services, and others can be requested. The services received depend on the Sponsorship Business Reason selected when the sponsorship is set up. See this public ITS Knowledgebase article for details: Services Received for Sponsored Uniqnames.

Note: Access to services ends when the sponsorship expires.

Initial Passwords for Sponsored People

You can either allow the newly sponsored person to set their own UMICH (Level-1) password themselves, or you can securely convey the password to them.

Allow Sponsored Person to Set Password

This option is only available when you sponsor someone who does not already have a uniqname or whose uniqname is inactive (that is, someone who does not have a current MCommunity Directory entry). This option is not available when sponsoring someone who already has an active uniqname.

  1. Provide a current non-UMICH email address (one that does not end in umich.edu) for the sponsored person when you set up the sponsorship.
  2. Direct the sponsored person to UMICH Account Management (Forgotten Passwords) to set their own initial password. You can either select the option to send a sponsorship confirmation (see sample below) to the sponsored person when you set up the sponsorship or send your own email to them with the link.
    For file uploads: If you are sponsoring multiple people by file upload, you must send your own email; the Sponsor System does not send a confirmation when uniqnames are created by a file upload.
  3. The sponsored person will be prompted to verify their identity by providing information that matches what you entered in the Sponsor System (date of birth for strong identities and non-UMICH email address for weak identities).
  4. They will then receive a password reset code at the non-UMICH email address you entered that will allow them to set their password.

If you edit the non-UMICH email address, the change is not sent to UMICH Account Management.

Convey Password Securely

Get the password yourself from the Sponsor System when you set up the sponsorship and communicate it securely to the sponsored person.

Email Notices Sent By the Sponsor System

Note: When sponsorship administrator sets up sponsorships, he/she can select preferred sponsorship and expiration emails to be sent by the Sponsor System.

Confirmation of Sponsorship

The following people could potentially receive a confirmation email upon selection by the sponsorship administrator:

  • Requester
  • Sponsored individual(s) (sent to the non-UMICH email address entered during sponsorship creation)

Important! The sponsored individual's UMICH password will be displayed on the Sponsor System screen at the end of the sponsorship creation process. It is the sponsorship administrator's responsibility to note the password and relay it in a secure manner to either the requester or the sponsored individual.

See Appendix: Sample Email Notifications below for the email text.

Expiry Warning Notices

Sponsorship administrators can select which of the following individuals receive an automated sponsorship expiration warning email and specify whether the emails should be sent two weeks or 45 days before the sponsorship is to expire:

  • Sponsorship administrators (for the sponsoring department)
  • Requester
  • Sponsored individual(s) (sent to the non-UMICH email address entered during sponsorship creation)
  • Any person with a U-M uniqname or any group listed in the MCommunity Directory

Sponsorship administrators can change when and to whom expiration warning emails are sent by editing sponsorships.

See Appendix: Sample Email Notifications below for the email text.

Sponsorship Expiry

All sponsorships have a start date and an expiry date. The maximum sponsorship duration is one year. However, sponsorship administrators can renew sponsorships as often as necessary-as long as they are still active.

What happens on expiry depends on the identity type-strong or weak. If a person has multiple sponsorships, the expiry process happens when the final sponsorship ends.

When Sponsorships with STRONG Identities Expire

Note: These sponsorships require enough identity information to create an entry in Wolverine Access.

On the Expiry Date (at the very end of the day):

  1. The sponsorship expires. (Before the expiry date, the sponsorship can be extended; after the expiry date, it cannot be extended.)
  2. The uniqname is deactivated (that is, the sponsored person can no longer log in to anything using that uniqname). Because Wolverine Access entries are created for sponsored individuals with strong identities, their uniqnames can be reactivated with sufficient proof that the person requesting reactivation is indeed the person the original uniqname belonged to.
  3. The sponsored individual's entry is removed from the MCommunity Directory. This means that email forwarding stops.
  4. Any computing services (such as U-M Google) assigned to this uniqname are terminated on the date the final sponsorship ends.

Note: If a sponsored person with a strong identity becomes an employee or student, their uniqname and any associated ITS computing services will stay effective indefinitely due to the updated affiliation.

When Sponsorships with WEAK Identities Expire

Note: These sponsorships require minimal identity information and do not result in a Wolverine Access entry.

On the Expiry Date (at the very end of the day):

  1. The sponsorship expires. (Before the expiry date, the sponsorship can be extended; after the expiry date, it cannot be extended. New sponsorships can be added before the expiry date only; sponsorships cannot be added after the identity has expired.)
  2. The uniqname is deactivated (that is, the sponsored person can no longer log in to anything using that uniqname).
  3. The sponsorship entry is removed from the MCommunity Sponsor System.
  4. The sponsored individual's entry is removed from the MCommunity Directory. This means that email forwarding stops.
  5. The uniqname is permanently retired and therefore unavailable (that is, it can never be used again). The uniqname is retired because there is not enough identity information on record to validate the person's identity for re-use of the uniqname. The identity has fully expired.
  6. Any computing services (such as U-M Google) assigned to the retired uniqname are terminated. Computing services cannot be reactivated transferred to a new uniqname.

Tips For Managing Sponsorship Expiry

  • When you set up a sponsorship, set the expiration date to allow yourself some extra time in case you later need to extend the sponsorship. For example, you might set the expiry date for a conference sponsorship to be five days after the end of the conference.
  • If you expect the sponsorship will require renewal, select expiry warning messages during sponsorship creation that will give the appropriate individuals enough warning time so they can can complete renewal before the sponsorship expires.
  • Tell sponsored individuals that if they wish to keep any files or messages after their sponsorship expires, they will need to save them ahead of time. They can send them to their non-UMICH email account, save them in a non-UM file storage account (Dropbox) or on a flash drive.

Password Resets for Sponsored Individuals

Sponsored individuals can change their own UMICH passwords using the same password changing page (login required) used by all other members of the university community.

Self-Service Password Resets

Sponsored individuals who have set up a non-UMICH address email address for account recovery in UMICH Account Management can reset a forgotten password for themselves as long as they either have a UMID number or a date of birth on record. You can help sponsored individuals get set up to reset a forgotten UMICH password themselves by:

  • Entering a date of birth when you set up a sponsorship
  • Encouraging sponsored individuals to set an account recovery address in UMICH Account Management when they change their initial password to something only they know.

Regular Uniqnames, Strong Identities

Sponsored individuals with regular uniqnames and strong identities must call the ITS Service Center to have their passwords reset if they have not set up account recovery information. There is enough information in MCommunity about these people for the Service Center to verify their identity over the phone or in person-and therefore to reset their passwords.

This includes contractors, incoming faculty/staff, temporary staff, academic affiliates, and others.

Regular or Temporary Uniqnames, Weak Identities

Sponsored individuals with regular or temporary uniqnames and weak identities must contact their requester (the person who requested their sponsorship) for password resets. The requester can ask either a departmental sponsorship administrator or the ITS Service Center to do the reset, but it is the responsibility of the requester or departmental sponsorship administrator to verify the sponsored individual's identity and oversee the security of the process.

This includes long-term guests, conference/program participants, and other short-term guests.

Transitioning Between Sponsorship and Identity Types

You cannot change the business reason for a sponsorship after the sponsorship has been set up. You cannot, for example, change a contractor to an incoming staff member. However, you can add a new sponsorship with a different business reason (with some limitations depending on the uniqname type). An individual can have multiple sponsorships with different start and expiry dates. See Adding Sponsorships to an Already-Sponsored Person in Using the MCommunity Sponsor System Via the Web for instructions.

Sponsorships with Temporary Uniqnames

Sponsored individuals with temporary uniqnames can only have additional sponsorships that also use temporary uniqnames. If you wish to create a sponsorship with a regular uniqname for an individual who currently has a temporary uniqname, you must create a new sponsored identity. The temporary uniqname will expire via the previously outlined expiry process.

Sponsorships with Regular Uniqnames

Sponsored individuals with regular uniqnames can only have additional sponsorships that also use regular uniqnames. Adding a sponsorship that results in a strong identity to the entry for a sponsored person whose current sponsorship has a weak identity (that is, a long-term guest), is problematic because of issues regarding the assignment of a UMID. It may not be possible for the person to keep the same uniqname under these circumstances. Please contact the ITS Service Center for assistance in such cases.

Some sponsored individuals, such as incoming faculty members, will transition from "sponsored" to "regular" status if they are included in one of the authoritative data feeds, such as the feed of employee data from Wolverine Access.

MCommunity reconciles the information from Wolverine Access with that in the Sponsor System and allows the person to keep the uniqname he/she is currently assigned as long as there is enough identity information in the Sponsor System to match the two records. It is essential that enough identity data for a strong identity be provided for individuals who make this transition.

Appendix: Sample Email Notifications

Confirmation to Sponsored Individual

Note: Email notifications are not sent to individuals sponsored using file import.

To: sponsored person (at the non-UMICH address entered in the sponsorship)

Reply-to: (the requester for the sponsorship)

Subject: Your U-M uniqname and password

Welcome!

You are now a sponsored member of the University of Michigan community. You may use the uniqname below along with a password and Duo two-factor authentication (when required) to log in to and access U-M computing services (https://its.umich.edu/computing/computers-software/standard-computing-services).

Sponsorship Start Date: Month DD, YYYY
Sponsorship Expiry Date: Month DD, YYYY
Sponsoring Department: Department name

Uniqname: xxxxxxxx

If you do not already have a password, your Sponsoring Department may have enabled you to choose your own password:

  1. Enter your uniqname at https://password.it.umich.edu/password/forgot/
  2. When prompted to verify your identity, enter your date of birth or the non-UMICH email address that you provided to your Sponsoring Department.
  3. Check your email for a password reset code.
  4. Enter your code and set your password.

Some Sponsoring Departments elect instead to give passwords directly to newly sponsored people; if you are unable to choose your own password, please contact your Sponsoring Department.

You can learn about setting up and using Duo two-factor authentication at:
https://www.safecomputing.umich.edu/two-factor-authentication

By using the university's technology services, you agree to follow U-M information technology policies and guidelines for responsible use. Inappropriate use of U-M technology resources may result in termination of access, disciplinary review, expulsion from the University, termination of employment, legal action or other disciplinary action. For information about responsible and appropriate use, see https://it.umich.edu/information-technology-policies

If you have questions about your sponsorship, uniqname, or password, please contact your Sponsoring Department. The ITS Service Center (734-764-4357 or http://www.its.umich.edu/help) can answer additional questions.

(This is an automated message sent by the University of Michigan MCommunity Sponsor System to inform you of your U-M sponsorship and your uniqname and password.)

Email Confirmation to Requester

To: Requester

Reply-to: ITS Service Center (4help@umich.edu)

Subject: MCommunity Sponsorship(s) Created

The sponsorship(s) below has/have been created in the MCommunity Sponsor System at your request:

Sponsorship Start Date: Month DD, YYYY
Sponsorship Expiry Date: Month DD, YYYY
Sponsoring Department: Department Name
Sponsorship Administrator: Name and Email Address
Reason for Sponsorship: Business Reason

Sponsored People: Full Name, uniqname

Sponsored people receive computing services; for details see https://its.umich.edu/computing/computers-software/standard-computing-services 

If you have questions or need changes made, please contact your sponsorship administrator listed above. If you have additional questions, please contact the ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357 or https://www.its.umich.edu/help.

(This is an automated message sent by the University of Michigan MCommunity Sponsor System to confirm sponsorship creation.)

Email Notice of Sponsorship Expiration (sent to those selected by the sponsorship administrator)

To: People selected by the sponsorship administrator

Reply to: ITS Service Center (4help@uich.edu)

Subject: MCommunity Sponsorship(s) to Expire Soon

The MCommunity sponsorship(s) listed below will expire soon.

Unless these sponsored individuals have other active sponsorships or have become members of the U-M community (faculty, staff, or student), they will lose the ability to use their uniqname and password, as well as their Google Apps UMICH and Active Directory UMROOT account, when the sponsorship(s) expires.

To prevent a disruption in service and loss of data stored in Google UMICH, sponsorships must be extended before they expire. Sponsorships can be extended by the sponsorship administrator for your department and by the ITS Service Center.
(734) 764-4357 (4-HELP)
4HELP@umich.edu
https://its.umich.edu/help

Sponsoring Department: [Name of department]
Reason for Sponsorship: [Business reason for sponsorship]

Sponsorships expiring [expiry date]:
Sponsorship Administrator: [Name and uniqname of sponsorship administrator]
- [Names and uniqnames of people whose sponsorships will expire that day]

(This is an automated message sent by the University of Michigan MCommunity Sponsor System to inform you about sponsorships that will expire soon.)

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, July 13, 2021