What is Identity and Access Management?
The Identity and Access Management (IAM) program is an ongoing program to assign and support a single, systemwide identifier for standardized and simplified access to computing resources at campus and enterprise levels. The identifier is StarID. Many projects within the IAM program will result in the standards, practices, and technical infrastructure to provide the right access for the right people at the right time.
For more information, see our program page.
What is a StarID?
The StarID is a username with the goal of replacing your many login IDs with one ID, one password, everywhere. Once you activate it, you can use your StarID and password anywhere that accepts StarID. It is unique across the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, so you can use it at more than one school. Change your password in one place — starid.mnscu.edu — and it will change everywhere.
Why does StarID look the way it does?
The StarID format consists of two letters followed by four numbers, followed by two letters, such as ab1234cd. The StarID format was selected based on analysis of usernames across the entire Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. Your StarID can be used across all institutions, so using any part of your name, college, university, Tech ID, netID, or D2L username is not possible because these identifiers may be duplicated across institutions and because of increased privacy requirements and laws like FERPA. Even email addresses are assigned and re-assigned at many institutions. The StarID is never duplicated and never re-assigned. This means that once issued, you can use the same StarID every time you visit a participating institution over the lifetime of your relationship with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
Reasons Behind StarID Format
- Non-name based identifiers will not have to change if a name changes.
- Non-name based identifiers avoid privacy issues (e.g. FERPA, HIPAA).
- Non-name based identifiers do not have name collision problems. For example, if the identifier jsmith has been assigned to John Smith, but Jackie Smith comes along next month what will Jackie's identifier be: jsmith1, jasmith?
- A consistent format prevents the need for "filler" characters that may result in an undesirable identifier.
- A consistent eight character length facilitates ease of integration with legacy systems. Legacy systems can, generally, accommodate an eight character identifier, but seldom one that is longer than eight characters.
- An eight character identifier is easier to remember than one that is longer.
- A consistent, randomly generated, eight character credential will never need to change and can, therefore, be assigned to one person for the entire duration of a person's affiliation with MnSCU.
The StarID is random and computer-generated, so we cannot control what it will be, and it cannot be changed. We understand that at first it might seem hard to remember, but experience has shown that once they start using it regularly, most people have no problems remembering their StarID. And it's okay to write it down!
More Information About StarID
One common concern is that the StarID is too difficult to remember. Keep in mind that the StarID is meant to become your primary login identifier across the entire Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. If you use your StarID multiple times a day, it is likely that you will remember it.
The StarID is not expected to be used as the name portion of an e-mail address. The various e-mail systems used across the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities all have the ability to use aliases (different names for the same mailbox) so it won't be necessary to have the StarID be part of an e-mail address. In fact, our Identity and Access Management team prefers that the StarID not be part of an e-mail address.