Please see the communication below from the Chancellor about the recent disruptions to the Maricopa enterprise systems and the plans for moving forward to support teaching and learning. Faculty Association leadership is actively involved in the ongoing conversations to address the situation and is committed to providing information to faculty as it becomes available. We continue to advocate for clear, regular communication to students, faculty, and staff and that any decisions impacting our ability to teach be made with appropriate consideration of the needs of our students and faculty. Key points of the Chancellor’s email include:
- On March 16, 2021, suspicious activity was identified on the network. In response, District systems were taken offline.
- There is no estimate for when systems will be restored.
- College leadership and faculty should work with students on a course-by-course basis to ensure the technology disruptions do not negatively impact grades and course completion.
- District is working to restore our financial systems and fully anticipates no issues with processing payroll on March 26.
District will also be sending communications out to students today using email, RAVE text alerts, Canvas, website banners, and social media to inform them of the situation.
There is expected to be a disruption of access to work email in the near future. We ask that you provide your personal email address so that we can continue to keep you updated. If you did not provide an updated personal email to us last semester or are unsure if we have it, please fill out our Personal Email Form. In order to prevent unintended filtering of our emails sent to your personal email address, please follow these whitelisting instructions.
We understand the stress this incident is causing you and our students. Please be assured that we are working closely with the Chancellor, Provost, college and faculty leadership, and employee senate representatives to support students, faculty, and staff for the remainder of the semester.
We will keep you posted as we learn more.
Faculty Association President
From: Office of the Chancellor <email@example.com.
Date: Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 1:10 PM
Subject: Network Outage Update
Chandler-Gilbert | Estrella Mountain | GateWay | Glendale | Maricopa Corporate College
Mesa | Paradise Valley | Phoenix | Rio Salado | Scottsdale | South Mountain
As you know, the Maricopa County Community College District is experiencing a network outage affecting information technology systems that connect to MyInfo, Canvas, RioLearn, Maricopa email, Google Tools and the Student Information System. On March 16, 2021, suspicious activity was identified on the network and we immediately implemented our incident response protocols, disconnected network access, and took systems offline.
We are treating this matter with the highest priority. As part of our response process, we engaged key partners, including independent forensic specialists, who are working to help us investigate and resolve the outage. The initial results from this investigation indicate that the suspicious activity appears related to the early stages of a cyberattack. We continue to investigate this situation while simultaneously restoring applications to ensure system security. At this time, we do not have an estimate for when access will be restored, but we are working around-the-clock to restore access as quickly as possible. Although systems are currently offline, we are in the process of restoring our financial systems and fully anticipate no issues with processing payroll on March 26.
We understand this situation is frustrating and has impacted many of our students’ ability to complete assignments, review lectures and study for exams. When system access is restored, we ask that all senior leadership at the colleges and faculty work with students on a course-by-course basis to ensure the technology disruptions do not negatively impact a student’s grade. As an employee, you are a critical part of our response team, and our goal is to continue serving our student community as best we can.
The Maricopa Community Colleges are committed to completing a detailed analysis of its internal systems to identify controls that will further enhance the resiliency of its systems. Open communication is important to us and we will follow up with additional information as we restore access to applications and corporate email. Thank you for your continued support and patience.