Overview of the Sponsor System

The 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, staff, or temporary employees 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 Sponsor System Support.


What Is the Sponsor System?

The Sponsor System is used to create uniqnames and online identities for sponsored affiliates, people who are affiliated with the university but who otherwise would not receive uniqnames. 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. You can identify the sponsorship administrator for your department using the Sponsor Admin Lookup tool.

The different roles involved in the sponsorship process include:

  • 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 they have authorized and ensure that appropriate policies and guidelines are followed. For more information about sponsoring authorities, see Role and Responsibility: Sponsoring Authority.
  • Requester: A faculty or staff member in the sponsoring department. 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 Sponsor System to set up sponsored identities and uniqnames. For more about sponsorship administrators, see Role and Responsibility: Sponsorship Administrator.

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. 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 authorizes them to receive.

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

Sponsor Administrators may choose either a regular or temporary uniqname for Sponsored Affiliates:

Regular Uniqnames with UMIDs

These sponsored people receive a regular uniqname and UMID, as well as a Wolverine Access/M-Pathways entry. Each person is entitled only to one regular uniqname; if a Sponsored Affiliate subsequently becomes a student, staff or faculty member they will continue to use the uniqname they initially received as a Sponsored Affiliate. Regular uniqnames can be reactivated. People receiving regular uniqnames:

  • Incoming Faculty/Staff (who may need a uniqname before they complete the hiring process) This includes incoming regular and temporary employees.
  • Contractors
  • Academic Affiliates
  • Other University Affiliates

Data Required to Create a Regular Uniqname

The Sponsorship Administrator needs to collect the following information to be able to create the sponsorship. Either:

  1. Existing uniqname. If the uniqname is not active in MCommunity, collect a non-UMICH email address and/or North American phone number to use in password setup.
  2. Full identity data:
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Date of birth
  • Non-UMICH email address (used for initial password setup)
  • Personal phone
  • Middle name (optional)
  • Home address (optional)

Temporary Uniqnames without UMIDs

These sponsored people receive a temporary uniqname. Once the sponsorship expires, the uniqname cannot be reactivated.

People can receive new temporary uniqnames if their old one expires and if they become students, staff or faculty they will receive a separate, regular uniqname. People receiving temporary uniqnames:

  • Short-Term Guests

Note: In the past, Sponsor Administrators were able to create regular uniqnames without UMIDs (Long-Term Guests). If your unit is interested in this type of account, contact the ITS Service Center for consultation with the ITS Identity and Access Management team.

Data Required to Create a Temporary Uniqname

The Sponsorship Administrator needs to collect the following information to be able to create the sponsorship:

  • First name, last name, and non-UMICH email. Middle name is optional. 

Computing Services For Sponsored People

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

Note: Access to services ends when the sponsorship expires. There is no grace period.

Initial Passwords for Sponsored People

Regular Uniqnames Plus UMIDs

People with regular uniqnames plus UMIDs use the self-service options of setting up their password via UMICH Account Management. They set their initial UMICH password after requesting a password reset code, which they can choose to receive at the non-UMICH email address or the phone number you entered (North American numbers only).

The password is not provided in the Sponsor System to the Sponsorship Administrator when creating the sponsorship. There are two options to communicate how to set up the password to the sponsored person:

  • When creating the sponsorship in the Sponsor System, the Sponsorship Administrator can send a standardized communication with password setup instructions by accepting the default notification when creating the uniqname.
  • The Sponsorship Administrator can choose instead to turn off the standardized communication option and instead send their own customized communication. Be sure to include detailed instructions on setting up the initial password; see the Appendix for details.

Temporary Uniqnames

  • All people with Temporary Uniqnames can use the self-service option to set their initial password. However, for Temporary Uniqnames only, the Sponsorship Administrator also can see initial passwords (one-time only) and can at any time reset passwords. The ITS Service Center cannot reset passwords for Temporary Uniqnames and will refer requests for help back to Sponsor Administrators.
  • Temporary Uniqnames created individually. Like with Regular Uniqnames, Sponsor Administrators can send a standardized communication with password setup instruction when creating the uniqname or send their own customized communication. Alternatively, Sponsor Administrators can choose to securely convey the initial password directly to the Sponsored Affiliate.
  • Temporary Uniqnames created in bulk. Standardized communications are never sent when temporary uniqnames are created in bulk via a file upload. Sponsor Administrators will have an option to download initial passwords after the file upload completes and should either securely convey passwords to Sponsored Affiliates or send a customized communication with password setup instructions.

Email Notices Sent By the Sponsor System

Note: When sponsorship administrators set up sponsorships, they select who receives sponsorship confirmation and expiration emails to be sent by the Sponsor System.

Confirmation of Sponsorship

Sponsorship administrators can choose to send confirmation emails to:

  • Requester
  • Sponsored individual—Sent to the non-UMICH email address entered during sponsorship creation. This notice includes instructions on initial password setup.

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 14 days and/or 45 days before the sponsorship is to expire:

  • Sponsorship administrators (for the sponsoring department)
  • Requester
  • Sponsored individual—Sent to the non-UMICH email address entered during sponsorship creation.
  • Any other email addresses (may include MCommunity group email addresses)

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.

If a person has multiple sponsorships, the expiry process happens when the final sponsorship ends.

When Sponsorships with Regular Uniqnames 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 Temporary Uniqnames 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. Same as above.
  2. The uniqname is permanently retired. It cannot be reactivated in the future.

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 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 to some other location.

Forgotten Password Resets for Sponsored Individuals

Like all other members of the university community, sponsored individuals can use UMICH Account Management to reset a forgotten password.

If Sponsored Affiliates are not able to use self-service:

  • Regular uniqnames should contact the ITS Service Center for assistance.
  • Temporary uniqnames should contact their Sponsor Administrator.

Multiple Sponsorship and Identity Types

Sponsorships with Temporary Uniqnames

Sponsored individuals with temporary uniqnames can only be sponsored by one unit.

Temporary uniqnames cannot be converted into regular uniqnames.

Sponsorships with Regular Uniqnames

Sponsored individuals with regular uniqnames can be sponsored by multiple units. In the past, units could have multiple concurrent sponsorships on a single uniqname, but units should now edit their existing sponsorship rather than add a second sponsorship.

Some sponsored individuals, will become faculty, staff or student. They should continue to use their original assigned uniqname.

Appendix: Sample Email Notifications

Confirmation to Sponsored Individual

Note: Email notifications are not sent to individuals with temporary uniqnames sponsored by uploading a list of names.

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


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://accounts.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 or phone 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 ([email protected])

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 ([email protected])

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 Active Directory UMROOT account, when the sponsorship(s) expires.

To prevent a disruption in service, sponsorships must be extended before they expire. Sponsorships can be extended by the Sponsorship Administrator for your department.

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]

If you have questions, please contact your Sponsorship Administrator. If you need additional assistance, contact the ITS Service Center (https://www.its.umich.edu/help).

(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, October 24, 2023