Monday, October 31, 2005

TNCC Distance Learning Committee

TNCC Distance Learning Committee meeting minutes are located at:

Friday, October 21, 2005

Default Passwords REVISION

From: Ralph Lucia
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2005 10:45


In light of the discussions at ACOP and the decision of the Chancellor regarding passwords, I have revised the documentation regarding default passwords (see attached). Changes are as follows:

  • Default passwords for existing users will not be erased or overwritten until December 12
  • Users logging into enterprise applications with default passwords will continue to be directed to the change password feature of My VCCS. Starting December 12, these users will be directed to the Password Wizard.
  • Password rules no longer require a special character
  • Password resets by help desk personnel will set a user’s password to his/her birthday for 24 hours instead of 12

    One other change was made because of additional information. The Password Wizard will not accept any invalid SSN. All users with blank or invalid SSNs will need to contact their college to reset their password.

    The test environment will be ready for colleges at 3:00 p.m. today. This is located at The test environment does not include Blackboard or email but does connect to the test SIS environment. The script on the SIS Test login page reflects the action that the production environment will have starting December 12. Default passwords have been erased or overwritten in the test environment. Other passwords reflect those in production as of the date of the last refresh, which was October 14.

    Ralph Lucia
    Director, Client Services
    Virginia Community College System


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


  • 56% of our current semester students have changed their default passwords!
  • 33% of all TNCC students for the past three semesters have changed their default passwords.

Why does this matter?

  • It matters Nov. 7th when Spring registration begins
  • If a student changes their password it can take upwards of one hour to apply in the system
  • We want to make the registration process smooth and enjoyable for students

What can I do to help?
Announce in ALL your classes that students MUST change their default password immediately to avoid problems, headaches or delays when registering for next semester!

About Password Changing:

  • Passwords are no longer created for new users. Existing users with default passwords (date of birth) and new users will be stepped through a Password Wizard to create a secure password.
  • The typical turn around time for the password synchronization is 15 minutes to 1 hour.
  • The Password Wizard will also serve as a mechanism to allow users who may have forgotten their password to create a new one.
  • Passwords expire after 180 days.
  • Passwords Rules
    New Passwords cannot:
    o Be the same as the user’s username
    o Be the same as the current password
    o Be the same as the user’s date of birth
    o Be all numbers
    o Contain spaces
  • New passwords must be between 6 and 10 characters
  • Cannot Contain any of the following characters
    o ~ Tilde
    o & Ampersand
    o ` Acute or Back Quote
    o { Open or Left Curly Brace

For problems with Password Changing:
Help Desk (, 825-2709)

*NOL – NelsonOnLine (Student Information System) –

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Default Passwords

Posted by Margaret Woodard on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 1:56 pm:


Attached you will find details of the plan to eliminate default (date of birth) passwords from enterprise information systems. This plan has been worked out in consultation with our auditors.

I have also attached an Excel spreadsheet showing the percent of changed passwords in our systems by category. Our plan is to expire the passwords of all active SIS accounts that currently use default passwords. At last count, that is approximately 1.2 million accounts (scroll down on the attached spreadsheet to see this figure). Our schedule shows the release of an updated My VCCS on Wednesday, October 19 in a test environment. When the test environment is ready, colleges will be informed of the URL and given instructions regarding testing. Deployment into production is scheduled for October 31.

Please see that this information is forwarded to the appropriate staff at your college. It is important that the implications of these changes be understood by those impacted.

Thank you for your assistance and cooperation. I know that this process has been difficult on college help desk staff. The result, however, will be a much more secure environment for the information of which we are custodians.

Ralph Lucia
Director, Client Services
Virginia Community College System

Monday, October 10, 2005

Spring 2006 course requests

We are now processing Spring 06 distributive* course requests only. If you need a distance or hybrid course shell or an organization you must call Ruth Smith (825-2807).
Requests will be processed every Friday.
*distributive-using technology (Blackboard) in concert with face-to-face classes

Your must fill out the request form: