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UMD Adjusts Zoom Settings to Increase Virtual Community Security

By Maryland Today Staff

Jeff Hollingsworth, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, and Georgina Dodge, vice president for diversity and inclusion, sent the following email to the campus community today:

We are committed to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment for our limited in-person instruction this semester, and virtually for remote instruction and rich co-curricular activities.

Over the past week, we have received several reports of disruptive, disturbing and hurtful behavior by individuals who interrupted Zoom classes and other campus events. These matters are being investigated and will not be tolerated. If any member of the campus community is found to be involved in this behavior, they will face disciplinary action, which may result in removal from the campus community.

Adjusting Our Technology Settings
To prevent a recurrence of these disruptions of classes and campus events, the Division of Information Technology will update the Zoom default settings to require central authentication (UMD Directory ID) for all meeting attendees. Moving forward, by default, only authenticated UMD users can join UMD Zoom meetings and webinars. This change will take effect at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20.

Please know that you maintain control of your meeting security selections, and you will still be able to invite external collaborators (anyone who does not have a UMD Directory ID and password) to participate in your Zoom meetings. If you plan to invite external collaborators, adjust your meeting settings by following these instructions. After the change, you should check any previously scheduled upcoming meetings that will include external collaborators and adjust your meeting settings accordingly. The new requirement for UMD login will be applied to all previously scheduled meetings.

Students, faculty or staff members attending a UMD Zoom meeting should always log into Zoom using your UMD credentials and not a personal Zoom account. Not doing so will prevent you from accessing your online UMD classes and meetings starting on Monday, Sept. 21.

Learn more about security settings for Zoom meetings. If you need assistance with Zoom or other UMD IT services, please contact the IT Service Desk.

An Inclusive Campus
Lastly, and most importantly, please reach out for resources and support if you were impacted by classroom or virtual activity disruptions on Zoom.

One such resource, Bias Incident Support Services (BISS), assists anyone at the University of Maryland impacted by hate-bias incidents. You can report a bias incident and a staff member will contact you within 48 hours for ongoing support. The new BISS Protocol explains reporting procedures, available resources and possible outcomes.

Thank you for working with us as we make adjustments to become a more secure learning environment. We appreciate the work each and every one of us is doing every day to be a more inclusive campus. Please stay TerrapinSTRONG and reach out to us if we can help in any way. Thank you for your understanding of any inconvenience caused by the upcoming Zoom setting changes.


Jeff Hollingsworth

Georgina Dodge

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications for the University of Maryland community on weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.