FA Update – March 25

Colleagues,

The latest two messages from the Chancellor can be found at the end of this email. Please review Maricopa’s System Status web page for all of the previous updates, including an update on Payroll.

Key points of the Chancellor’s latest emails include:

  • Starting immediately, all employees can reset their password on idme.maricopa.edu.
  • There will be live chat available over the weekend to support employees and students.
  • The District is still targeting March 29th for resuming instruction.
  • IT teams are in the process of bringing core systems back online.
  • The payroll process for pay date 3/26/2021 has been completed.

When you successfully regain access to your Canvas course, you can bulk update due dates and availability dates.

In order to prevent unintended filtering of our emails sent to your personal email address, please follow these whitelisting instructions. In addition to our emails, all updates are posted regularly on the Faculty Association website.

We will be forwarding an additional message from the Provost and Faculty Association leadership shortly. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Patrice Nango
Faculty Association President

 


Email from Chancellor Gonzales March 25, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that our information technology and recovery teams continue to make great strides in their efforts to safely restore Maricopa Community Colleges’ systems. We are now beginning the process of reinstating access to Maricopa Email and our Employee Portal.

Starting immediately, all employees can reset their password on idme.maricopa.edu using one of two options:

  1. Self-Service Password Reset: If you previously provided MCCCD with an alternate personal email account or mobile phone number that you can still access, you are able to use our newly developed self-service password reset process. If MCCCD does not have an active personal email account or mobile phone in our Human Capital Management system (HCM), we will provide you with an alternate ID verification process to reset your password. If you were a little ahead of the game and already reset your password this week, you may be required to reset it again as the password reset process is now officially open for all employees.

  2. Chat Assisted Verification: If you are unable to use the self-service option, you can use the chat feature on the idme.maricopa.edu website to verify your identity in order to have a password link sent to you. The chat support will be available for faculty and staff today starting at 4:00 p.m. Please have your government-issued ID available via webcam for verification purposes. The chat feature can also assist you with questions regarding the multi-factor authentication.

Once your password is reset you will have access to Gmail and our Employee Portal. Please keep in mind you may not immediately have access to all applications, and you may temporarily experience degraded performance as we complete this process.

We will have live chat available over the weekend, to support employees during the following hours:

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021: 4:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Friday, March 26, 2021: 7:00am – 10:00pm
  • Saturday March 27 and Sunday March 28, 2021: 8:00am – 8:00pm
  • Monday, March 29, 2021: 6:00am – 10:00 pm (or as late as needed)

As part of our efforts to build a more resilient network, the Maricopa Community Colleges purchased Sophos antivirus software, for all students, faculty and staff. Sophos provides added protection to keep private information safe, and advanced capabilities to ensure a safe, secure web surfing experience. As part of the District’s Sophos purchase, all current faculty and staff may use Sophos Home Commercial Edition on up to ten personally owned devices for free. You can download and install the software here.

We will continue to bring additional applications online in the coming days. I applaud the hard work and dedication provided by all faculty and staff as we work together to resolve the incident and safely recover systems.

Sincerely,
Steven


Email from Chancellor Gonzales March 24, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

Our information technology department, in conjunction with external forensic specialists, continues to investigate and remediate the recent security incident and network outage.

Teams have made significant progress in deploying additional security controls across our network, including enhanced endpoint detection and threat hunting software. We have restored core systems, confirmed their security, and are in the process of bringing those systems online. As I’m sure you can imagine, this is a coordinated effort across the entire district and teams are working around the clock to make sure this process is handled carefully and diligently.

At this time, we are still targeting March 29th for resuming instruction. As we continue following a multi-phased approach to safely bring systems back online, faculty and staff will be asked to implement additional security controls on MCCCD applications and devices, including multi-factor authentication. You will also be asked to reset your password. Please continue to watch for updates and instructions from ITS.

At Maricopa Community Colleges, we take the safety and security of our information as well as the continuity of our systems and services seriously. To further strengthen our security posture, we are providing access to free antivirus software to all students, faculty, and staff for up to 10 personal devices. ITS will provide instructions on how to access this software. These actions support our ongoing efforts to enhance our defenses and mitigate the risk of future threats.

We appreciate your continued patience as we complete our response.

Sincerely,
Steven

Faculty Association Update March 22nd

Colleagues,

Sunday’s communication (March 21) from the Chancellor can be found at the end of this email.  Please read it carefully as it contains some important updates. 

Key points of the Chancellor’s email include: 

  • We do not yet have a timetable as to when access will be restored but anticipate a solution in the coming days.  The ITS department will provide updates as soon as they are able.  
  • Classes have been delayed until March 29, but employees are expected to continue their scheduled work on March 22.  Faculty and staff should work with their direct supervisor to determine the level and scope of work that can be completed.
  • To avoid a negative impact on IT’s efforts to resolve the system outage, please direct all media calls and requests to Matt Hasson, Chief Communications Officer at matthew.hasson@domail.maricopa.edu.

We also appreciate the incredible work of our ITS professionals. They are working tirelessly to restore our systems and bring us back online. As noted above, we don’t have a date for the system reset and renewed access to email, Canvas, Webex, and MS 365. However, you should expect a disruption of access and, when provided with instructions, a requirement to create 2 factor ID verification and to reset your password. 

As the Chancellor acknowledged in his email, we know that many of us are frustrated and would like additional details and answers to our questions about the network outage and its impacts on our students, faculty, and employees. Faculty Association leadership is actively working to acquire and share timely information, including seeking and providing answers to questions submitted to our Systems Outage Questions form. We appreciate those sending questions and will continue to seek answers in our daily meetings with the Chancellor’s Executive Council (CEC). College Faculty Senate Presidents will communicate with their faculty and share these questions and answers as well as any updates from the special meeting for the Faculty Senate Presidents and FEC Officers later this afternoon to discuss their concerns, questions, and current updates.  

In order to prevent unintended filtering of our emails sent to your personal email address, please follow these whitelisting instructions. In addition to our emails, all updates are posted regularly on the Faculty Association website. We also recommend that you continue to check Maricopa’s System Status web page for updates. 

Stay well, 

Patrice Nango

Faculty Association PresidentI

 

From: Office of the Chancellor <chancellor@domail.maricopa.edu>

Date: Sun, Mar 21, 2021, 3:02 PM

Subject: Message from the Interim Chancellor

To:

Chandler-Gilbert | Estrella Mountain | GateWay | Glendale | Maricopa Corporate College

Mesa | Paradise Valley | Phoenix | Rio Salado | Scottsdale | South Mountain

Dear Colleagues,

I want to provide you with an update on where we are and what to expect in the coming week as it relates to the system outage.  But first, I want to express my sincere appreciation and support to our ITS professionals who are working tirelessly to restore our systems and bring us back online.

I understand that many of you are frustrated and would like additional details regarding the current network outage. In our response, we are guided by standard incident protocols and are committed to addressing all IT related outages in a secure and responsible way, which includes the sharing of information both when it is validated and safe to do so. While not ideal, it is critical to getting our systems back online in a safe and secure manner.

Here’s what I am able to share right now.

On Tuesday, March 16, we identified suspicious activity within our IT network. As soon as this activity was detected, we implemented our incident response protocols, disconnected external access to our network, and took systems offline. To protect our network and address the issue, we engaged our key partners, including forensic and recovery specialists, to help us determine what happened and resolve the outage.

The initial results from our 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. We are working with our forensic partners to ensure our systems are secure so we can reestablish connectivity and resume business as usual.

We are working as quickly as possible to solve this problem and safely restore access to all applications and email. We do not yet have a timetable as to when access will be restored but will let you know as we have more information. Unfortunately, this process takes time.

We anticipate a solution in the coming days that will be communicated as soon as we are able. Please keep an eye out for messages from our ITS department who will provide updates on how we bring our systems and your access back online. I ask that we give them the time to focus on these solutions and avoid contacting them with questions.  Please wait for their messages.

Although we have delayed the start of classes to March 29, we do expect employees to proceed with their scheduled work on March 22 to the best of your ability.  We recognize it is challenging to perform normal duties and responsibilities with limited or no access to technology tools and systems; however, we ask that faculty and staff work with your direct supervisor to determine the level and scope of work that can be completed.

Finally, there is quite a bit of media interest in our system outage.  Media is contacting employees and students for comment because we are limited in what we can share with them at this point. Please understand, anything you share with the media could have an impact on the work our IT experts are doing to resolve the situation and is not helpful. Please direct all media calls to Matt Hasson, Chief Communications Officer for the district, matthew.hasson@domail.maricopa.edu.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time. You have all been through so much this past year and have excelled in every endeavor. We will get through this and we will learn where there is a lesson, and we will grow where there is opportunity.

Please continue to visit our website for timely updates: https://www.maricopa.edu/system-status.

Sincerely,

Steven

Update – Classes to Resume March 29th

Colleagues,

Please see the communications below from the Chancellor and College leadership concerning when classes will resume. The message sent to students from College leadership is included below so you are aware of the content of the message students received by way of email, RAVE text alerts, Canvas, website banners, and social media.

Key points of the Chancellor’s email include:

  • Maricopa County Community College District is experiencing a network outage affecting information technology systems that connect to MyInfo, Canvas, RioLearn, Maricopa email, EdReady, Google Tools and the Student Information System.
  • We need to keep our computing systems offline as our information technology experts and key partners continue to work to identify and resolve the issue. There is still no estimate for when systems will be restored.
  • MCCCD will resume instruction for all modalities on March 29, 2021 (by individual exception some clinicals will resume as scheduled).
  • MCCCD will also be extending the Spring semester one week to May 22, 2021. Faculty will work with college academic leadership on implementing this extension.

Faculty Association leadership remains actively involved in the ongoing conversations and will continue to provide information to faculty as it becomes available. We are working to get answers to the many questions we all have, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • What does the outage mean for our ability to work next week?
  • How will we work if we don’t have access to email, Canvas, etc.?
  • Can we meet with students next week?
  • Is there a way for faculty to communicate with students who don’t have access to their email and/or Canvas?
  • Will the IDP/PARc deadline be extended and for how long?
  • What systems are expected to come back online first?
  • When will we lose access (if we have it) to email and/or Canvas?
  • Was any personal data exposed?  When will we know for sure?
  • When and how will work computers be updated?
  • How will the extended semester and associated pay be managed?
  • Is there a timeline for the end of the outage?

If you have additional questions you would like us to share, please fill out this form.

As stated in our previous email, even if you currently have access, you should expect a disruption of access to work email and other systems in the near future. If you provide your personal email address 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 know everyone is anxious and looking for information and answers to their questions.  Please know that we continue to work closely with the Chancellor, Provost, HR, college and faculty leadership, and employee senate representatives to provide answers and greater clarity in order to continue supporting students, faculty, and staff during this time.

We will continue to share information with you as soon as we learn anything. Along with email, we will be posting our updates on the Faculty Association website. We also recommend that you regularly check Maricopa’s System Status webpage for updates.

Stay well,

Patrice Nango
Faculty Association President

 

On Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 5:46 PM Office of the Chancellor <chancellor@domail.maricopa.edu> wrote:

 

Chandler-Gilbert | Estrella Mountain | GateWay | Glendale | Maricopa Corporate College

Mesa | Paradise Valley | Phoenix | Rio Salado | Scottsdale | South Mountain

Dear Colleagues,

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, EdReady, Google Tools and the Student Information System.

Out of an abundance of caution, we need to keep our computing systems offline as our information technology experts and key partners continue to work to identify and resolve the issue.

For that reason, we will resume class instruction for all modalities on March 29, 2021 (by individual exception some clinicals will resume as scheduled). We will also be extending the Spring semester one week to May 22, 2021. Faculty will work with college academic leadership on implementing this extension.

We understand that our staff and faculty may have concerns about work assignments and/or deadlines. We will be flexible regarding these issues, and employees should work with their direct supervisors on their department’s specific needs.

To protect our network, we have also engaged our key partners, including forensic and recovery specialists, to help us determine what happened and resolve the outage. We are working as quickly as possible to bring our systems back online in a secure and safe manner. We will provide additional information as we restore access to applications and email.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time.

Should you have specific questions regarding HCM and payroll, please contact your local College Human Resources representatives.

Please continue to visit our website for timely updates: https://www.maricopa.edu/system-status

Sincerely,

Steven

 

Student Message-Classes to Resume (Sent March 19th)

IMPORTANT UPDATE: All Maricopa Community College’s Classes to Resume March 29

Dear Students,

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, EdReady, Google Tools and the Student Information System.

Out of an abundance of caution, we will need to continue to keep our computing systems offline as our information technology experts and key partners continue to work to identify and resolve the issue.

For that reason, we will resume class instruction for all modalities on March 29, 2021 (by individual exception some clinicals will resume as scheduled). We will also be extending the Spring semester one week to May 22, 2021. Faculty will work with college academic leadership on implementing this extension.

We understand this situation is frustrating and has impacted many of our students’ ability to complete assignments, review lectures and study for exams. We ask that faculty work with students on a course-by-course basis to ensure the technology disruptions do not negatively impact a student’s grade. Faculty will be flexible regarding these concerns, and any missed assignments or exams will be rescheduled.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time.

Please continue to visit our website for timely updates: https://www.maricopa.edu/system-status

Sincerely,

College President

Maricopa Systems Outage Update

Colleagues,

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.

Stay well,

Patrice Nango

Faculty Association President

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Office of the Chancellor <chancellor@domail.maricopa.edu>
Date: Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 1:10 PM
Subject: Network Outage Update
To:

Chandler-Gilbert | Estrella Mountain | GateWay | Glendale | Maricopa Corporate College

Mesa | Paradise Valley | Phoenix | Rio Salado | Scottsdale | South Mountain

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Sincerely,

Steven

Governing Board Approves the Faculty Agreement

The Governing Board approved the Faculty Agreement 5-2 with Winn and McGrath voting nay. The recording is available on their YouTube Channel.

The discussion about the Faculty Agreement begins at time stamp 1:23:47.

Of other interest is a discussion about course fees and creating a process allowing students to request refunds at time stamp 1:02:30.