Subject Re: eP(S)A comparison (was RE: ePTID comparison)
From "David L. Wasley" <dlwasley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:42:18 -0700

At 8:24 AM +0100 on 8/28/09, Andrew Cormack wrote:

Am I right in thinking that in the US "Staff" are roughly those who
aren't Faculty? Your "staff clubs" may be rather different from ours in
that case ;-)

Maybe, but it probably varies a lot across schools (we have 4300+ institutions of higher ed here.) In some places, "faculty" don't like to be considered mere "staff". In other cases, faculty have privileges that staff don't, e.g. rights to intellectual property they develop. Etc.

My take on this discussion is that those designations may not be very useful for access control decisions. They are too generalized. For example, if an RP wants to allow access to anyone on a "tenure track" then that's the attribute they need, not "faculty" (which might include anyone who is teaching at the moment). "Faculty" might be used appropriately for anyone who needs access to teaching resources, including visiting scholars leading a seminar, for example.

I'd be really reluctant to make the system any more complicated: we
already seem to have ample scope for different interpretations! My aim
in doing this was just to work out which values were used consistently,
so an inter-federating SP could use those in its access control rules
without having to think. Student, Faculty and Member (subject to the
wrinkles that Peter has pointed out) seem to be ok. And actually I think
those are probably the most important.

We used to joke that the term "student" meant different things at each of the 10 campuses of the Univ of California. At some, it was anyone who was enrolled and had paid there tuition. At others, it was anyone who had been accepted for enrollment. Is a person taking a term off to write their thesis still considered a "student"? Etc. Our solution? "Student" is whatever the campus wants to mean by the term.

Nothing is as simple as it may seem above the covers.