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Attending: Melissa Woo, Michael Gettes, Celeste Schwartz, Susan Kelley, Dave Vernon, Von Welch, Dennis Cromwell, Chris Spadanuda, Klara Jelinkova, Ted Hanss, Ken Klingenstein, Steve Carmody, Pankaj Shah

With: Ann West, Kevin Morooney

Votes Via Wisegate

The December 7, 2015 minutes were approved.


Ann West welcomed the new Steering members on today’s call, Celeste Schwartz and Ted Hanss.

Also introduced was Kevin Morooney, the new vice president for trust and identity at Internet2 and former CIO at Penn State.

2016 Steering Activities and InCommon Priorities

Ann reviewed four documents included in the agenda as background.

Ann reviewed the informal progress report on priorities, which came from Steering, the Assurance Advisory Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee. These fall into a number of buckets, such as policy.

  1. Attribute release is about getting participants to adopt relaxed attribute release policies. InCommon is also conducting an attribute release study to provide information for developing a plan and outreach strategies.

  2. Identity Provider/Service Provider practice requirements - Currently, the baseline requirement is transparency (the Participant Operating Practices - POP). The POP doesn’t scale - POPs are web pages and are not machine readable. POPs also go out of date. Moving toward specifying a baseline set of requirements to replace the POP. This will be a low bar, but a move to becoming more prescriptive. A working group has drafted an interoperability profile that is currently open for review
  3. International interfederation - A goal from the start of InCommon was to connect with other national federations. This has been three years coming, but will be in production on February 15, 2016. Interfederation is done via eduGAIN, a service that combines all of the “phone books” (metadata aggregates) from 40 national federations, which all can then import and use. This also involves a change in the InCommon legal agreement (the Participation Agreement), which will take effect on February 11.

Research & Scholarship Category - This is key to international interfederation. An identity provider can release a distinct set of attributes to the entire category. Each time a service is added to R&S, that service will receive the appropriate attributes.

  4. Community-Facing Identity Provider - This is an external IdP (formerly known as IdP of Last Resort) that researchers and others can use, in the case that their institution does not have an identity provider in InCommon. A working group has developed criteria and vetted options. There are at least two identity providers in the eduGAIN metadata that are open to anyone. InCommon/ Internet2 is also looking at deploying such an identity provider.
  5. Marketing Study - InCommon has grown significantly and demographics have changed. Now more than 800 participants. Cloud, outsourcing, and collaboration have changed things, with growth coming from smaller schools (non-R1) and small companies. This will help us better understand the community, understand barriers to adoption, and identify gaps in our support and service.

  6. Federation Operations Review - This is an internal review of InCommon operations as it stands today. It reveals that we have a rock solid service, but the changing demographics and the growth have created gaps in service delivery and support.

TIER (Trust and Identity in Education and Research)

This initiative is about filling gaps in campus infrastructure in terms of identity and access management. There is overlap between InCommon and TIER - parts of the initiative will impact the federation (nationally and internationally) as well as the campus infrastructure. There is a group of 50 campuses that are TIER investors. There is also a TIER Investor Council (which Klara chairs). Part of the discussion will be about what will be funded through TIER and what should be funded via InCommon participation fees. Steering will be very involved in these discussions in the upcoming year.

There is an InCommon budget overview linked from the Steering agenda.

Officer Elections

To be held on the Steering call February 1, 2016 (4 pm ET). InCommon Steering has three officers - chair, vice-chair, and secretary. Nominations are open by sending a note to Ann West ( or Dean Woodbeck ( prior to next week’s call (close of business January 28). There will be items up for vote on the next call, and we need officers in order to conduct those votes.

Next Meeting - February 1, 2016 - 4 pm ET

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