Federating The University of North Carolina: Origins and Benefits


This ECAR case study of the University of North Carolina Identity Federation explores the benefits and impacts of federated identity on the university and its 17 constituent institutions. Federated identity is an identity management practice that streamlines inter-organizational access to resources. With federated identity, organizations come together and create a federation within a state university system or among unrelated institutions where participants configure their IdM systems to a pre-approved set of policies, processes, and technologies, creating a “trust framework” that enables members’ constituents to access resources at each other organizations with their “home” institution credentials. This case study is published in conjunction with the ECAR study Identity Management in Higher Education, 2011, by Mark C. Sheehan and Cedric Bennett, with Pam Arroway, Susan Grajek, Judith A. Pirani, and Ronald Yanosky. In addition to updating the picture of IdM practice reported in a baseline ECAR study conducted in 2005–2006, the 2011 study takes a deep look at institutional adoption of federated identity technology.

Citation for this work: Pirani, Judith A., and Bob Albrecht. Federating The University of North Carolina: Origins and Benefits (Case Study 2, 2011). Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research, 2011, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.

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