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More information about the upcoming CrimsonCard

Mar 21, 2017

Indiana University is rolling out its first-ever official university identification card, called CrimsonCard. The new card will consolidate and replace all existing campus-specific cards across all eight IU campuses, facilitating the three core functions of an official university identification card:

  • Identification

  • Access

  • Commerce

Based on both an internal and an external review of auxiliary IT systems and services, consistent recommendations were provided to IU President Michael A. McRobbie in 2014 to standardize numerous campus-specific IT systems for security, efficiency and experience.

Versions of the new CrimsonCard
Different campus versions of the new CrimsonCard.

The first of these services rolled out in spring 2016 in the form of a university-wide parking system and associated parking hangtags and nomenclature.

In May 2015, President McRobbie charged Vice President for IT and CIO Brad Wheeler to establish a universitywide auxiliary IT unit, and the Bloomington Campus Auxiliary IT Division became the first group to report to Enterprise Director of Auxiliary Systems Ranji Abraham.

As a core focus of the charge, McRobbie specifically stated that the first priority for this new group would be to establish a universitywide identification card to be available to all incoming students for summer 2017. Primary motivators for this project were increased safety and security, a consistent IU brand, and reduced operating costs.

Substantial efforts were soon put into motion, and Abraham – with a collaborative team of staff from all IU campuses – began to research, assess and catalog the myriad systems and functions that the collective campus-specific card offices had in place. From that detailed information, the group put forward recommendations to standardize around one solution that would service all of IU’s current 200,000 cardholders.

CrimsonCard, with the IU trident logo, was ultimately selected for the card design, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines for identification cards were leveraged in laying out the data elements on the card. The new card has a built-in smart chip that encrypts communication to readers, substantially increasing the safety and security of the card. Additionally, the card’s consistent layout and associated data elements mean that the card meets the state of Indiana’s voter identification requirements, enabling students, faculty and staff to use it as identification at voter locations across the state.

The new CrimsonCard will also have portability across IU campuses, so users will be able to use the card for access and commerce at vendors that accept the card at each campus. This functionality is targeted for early July.

CrimsonCards will be available after spring break 2017, and faculty, staff and students will have the convenience of exchanging their existing campus cards for the CrimsonCard at any time until July 2018. There will be no cost to the faculty, staff and students who exchange an existing card. Additionally, existing campus-specific cards will still work through June 2018 alongside the CrimsonCard.

Numerous new and exciting opportunities will be available once the CrimsonCard is in place, and people can expect to see “CrimsonCard accepted here” signage over the coming months at locations that will accept the card.

CrimsonCard marks yet another important move for the unique and diverse IU community to unite behind a common identification.

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