Seventh Issue of Internet2 TIER Community Update Newsletter: May 6, 2016

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TIER Community Update: May 2016

Welcome to the TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research) Newsletter for May. The purpose of this e-newsletter is to keep you informed on what's happening in the TIER project.

About TIER
TIER is a community-initiated effort, coordinated by Internet2, to develop a consistent, rationalized approach to identity and access management that simplifies campus processes and advances inter-institutional collaboration and research.
TIER is both an open source toolset and a campus practice set.

More can be found in the TIER FAQ on our webpage - click here

TIER News Highlights:

  • TIER Release One was made available in April. See the website for details.
  • To review the TIER Release One webinar, see this link to the recording (will open in Adobe Connect).  
  • We appreciate your feedback on the TIER Release using this form.

In this Issue:
TIER Community Contributor Spotlight, TIER Supports the Weave of Research & Education,  Finding TIER Info and Resources, TIER-Related Events, Stay Social with TIER

From the TIER Community Investor Council: May 2016 Update

By Klara Jelinkova, Vice President & CIO of Rice University and chair of the TIER Community Investor Council

On Monday April 18, the TIER collaboration of 49 Universities and Internet2 made available the first release of the TIER software and practices suite. This event establishes important groundwork for future TIER developments.

For the first time, the community-developed software teams are coordinating on a shared release  and common virtual machine instances. A core set of APIs have been built to ease the development and integration of the future releases and enable more flexible implementation on campuses.  The Grouper Project has implemented a first iteration of the APIs, providing a look at how these might be used.

Only a year ago, our community came together to create the TIER program. Internet2 committed and focused funds dispersed between the InCommon Federation and internal development efforts to support TIER. In addition, 49 university partners committed funds over a three-year period to jump-start the effort, and Internet2 members agreed to ensure sustainability of the software development in the long term.

The program is community built and run in every sense of the word. A network of community volunteers (engineers, technologists, architects and community leaders) forms the backbone of our specification work. To give you an idea of the magnitude of effort, community representatives spent 623 hours on conference calls from January to March working on TIER specifications.

Read the full blog here.

TIER Community Contributor Spotlight: Richard Biever, Duke University
Richard Biever.jpg

This month’s Community Contributor spotlights Duke University’s Richard Biever. Richard got his start in IT in 1994 after graduating from the University of Georgia. He spent a number of years at PeachNet, the research and education network in Georgia, and later joined Hewlett Packard as a network engineer, Hostmaster, and later security officer.

In 2007, Richard moved to Georgia Tech as the Security Policy and Compliance Manager, and joined Duke in 2011 as the CISO, taking over the IAM team there in 2012.

"IAM is extremely important,” says Richard. “The team and systems we support are responsible for the electronic identities of Duke faculty, staff, students, alumni and affiliates. We are responsible for the authentication mechanisms our community use to access resources as well as integration with the key systems of record and downstream services and applications.”

In addition to his team’s work with Shibboleth and Grouper, Richard has contributed significantly to the TIER Security and Audit working group.

Read the full blog post about Richard.

TIER Supports the Weave of Research & Education

By Ken Klingenstein


LIGO researchers benefit from COmanage to secure and simplify access to resources. Photo courtesy of the LIGO Laboratory

Trust and Identity have become necessary enablers and integrators across the entire academic mission. Researchers need to use their campus identities in global collaborations, classes need to access controlled academic resources, scientific equipment needs strong identity protection, summer high school students who become university students (and perhaps even university professors) need to weave their scholarly dots together. The TIER approach of reusing core components to support the fabric of identity management at both enterprise and virtual organization helps institutions serve their core missions.

Read the full blog here. 

Finding TIER Info and Resources
TIER-Related Events
Stay Social with TIER
Twitter enthusiasts: follow #internet2TIER for latest news and follow @Internet2, @InCommonUS, Ann West @hawthornewest and Nick Roy @nckroy for articles, updates and the latest on the TIER community.
  • is for all general, non-technical discussions about TIER and may be used to contribute any thoughts about the direction or shape of TIER (open to everyone; authentication required).
  • generally focuses on the implementation goals and technologies required to make identity components work well within and across participating institutions. Although mainly of interest to technology architects and identity management professionals, the list is open to everyone (authentication required).
  • To subscribe: Send an email to with the subject (case insensitive): subscribe <list-name>
  • We encourage you to forward this newsletter to others in the community who would be interested in receiving these monthly updates. Would you like to subscribe to this monthly newsletter? Click here.

Key Internet2 identity initiatives are supported in part by National Science Foundation grants. For more information, see specific software sites.

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