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Student Affairs Increases Efficiency Through Self-Service Password Management

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By Julia McBee

DECEMBER 13, 2015

December 13, 2015 – “Your account has been locked out, please contact an administrator,” read the login screen on the computer. This was a common occurrence for Division of Student Affairs staff in 2012 who did not remember their passwords or allowed their password to expire.

If staff members couldn’t access their computers, then they couldn’t check emails, respond to messages, create files or even go on the Internet. More importantly, they weren’t able to support the students at UF. Their next course of action was to make a call to the Student Affairs IT Assistance team.


This created an increase in requests to IT Assistance. IT Assistance needed to find a way to make this easy for staff to handle on their own while still providing the same level of account security required by best practice and University policy. They found a product called Self-Service Password Reset Manager (SSRPM).


SSRPM, installed on all Division-owned computers, allows staff to reset his or her Student Affairs Active Directory password based on simple, predefined questions. This process is very similar to online banking but takes it to the next level by allowing staff to create questions and answers of their own in addition using canned questions.


In order to use the service, Division staff can follow the on-screen instructions to enroll in the service. It only takes about 5 minutes to get setup. “Its low maintenance and easy to use,” said Kevin Morgan, a Student Affairs IT Security team member.


While this has been a very useful service, not all Division staff members know of this product. “A lot of staff have never even heard of (SSRPM),” Morgan said.


As part of an effort to educate Division staff, the IT Assistance team have been asking all Division staff to try SSRPM first when they call in. Many were surprised at how easy it was to use.


In September 2015 alone, the system was used successfully approximately 43 times by Division staff. “It has cut down on the calls to the desk for sure,” Morgan said.


Pamela Hightower, Assistant Director for UF Recreational Sports, recently had to reset her password. She said she spent a few minutes working with SSRPM, and she didn’t have to call IT Assistance.


Jennifer Todden, Assistant Director at UF Housing and Residence Education, also had to unlock her account a few weeks back. “It took me about 30 seconds,” she said.


Todden said she enjoyed using SSRPM more than calling the help desk because it was easy and self-explanatory. “I feel more comfortable on the computer now,” she said.

Now as 2015 comes to an end, Joshua Robertson, manager of the IT Assistance team, believes the software has served its purpose. He sees less requests for account unlocks or resets. But Robertson wants more staff to use the service so Division staff don’t have to make a call to the help desk.


“It’s beneficial because it empowers the end users to have a more active role in their account,” Roberston said.


To learn more about SSRPM or enroll in the service, follow the on-screen prompts. If you are no longer getting prompted, please contact IT Assistance at 352-392-2465 to get started.