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Technology at CMU - Faculty Orientation

Required new faculty pre-orientation

The Office Curriculum and Instructional Support and Faculty Personnel Services maintain an extensive and required New Faculty pre-orientation website where you will find similar and related information on some of the topics on this page and much more. 

IT Help Desk

Our professional and student staff members are ready, willing, and able to assist you with any and all technology-related questions that you may have. Each college, department, and program have dedicated technology support available. The starting point for all needs, concerns, challenges, ideas, etc. is the CMU Help Desk. Hours of operation can be found on the website linked below. Our professional and student staff members are ready, willing, and able to assist you with any and all technology-related questions that you may have. All interactions are linked to your Global ID. Updates and additional communications are managed through your CMU email account. Hours of operation can be found on the website linked below. Your ticket will be assigned to the team or individual that can best serve you.

Global ID

Your Global ID is a unique user name based on your last, first, and middle name plus a number that, along with a strong password, you use to sign in to all of CMU's online services, system and website. It is also the first part of your CMU email address (before the part). While you will regularly asked to type in and provide your Global ID to others, it is very important that you never share your password with anyone else, under any circumstances. Your Global ID and password are necessary to access your CMU account which includes, but is not limited to, email, the Blackboard learning management system, OneDrive, departmental storage, financial information, benefits, and MUCH more. Your Campus ID # is NOT the same as your Global ID, but they are connected. (Learn more)

If you have not already done so, you can activate your CMU account here

Visit My Account to change your password, review personal information, set or change your security questions, and more.

CentralLink is the internal portion of CMU's website. You can sign in by visiting or by clicking the Sign In link on the home page. Once you are signed in, you can find a plethora of information that is not available to the general public.

My Account is one of the most useful sections within CentralLink. It offers links to nearly all of the online services you'll ever use as a faculty member, including by not limited to, academic calendars, course bulletins, classroom codes, end-of-course surveys, class schedules and lists, all things financial, web grades, profile update options, benefit information, classroom podium codes, and MUCH more. You can access My Account by visiting or clicking on My Account after logging into or CentralLink

NOTE: The CMU website is currently being transitioned to a new content management system that will serve up content based upon audience type. Provided content will be shown dependent upon whether you are a public or signed in viewer as well as whether you are a student, faculty, or staff member.

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication is a way to add an additional layer of security to your account when accessing protected systems and services. This requires both something you know and something you have. Something you know is your Global ID and password, and something you have would be your smartphone, desk phone, or hardware token. For certain CMU services, such as anything that would use our standard logon page (Blackboard, Office365, etc.), once MFA is enabled on your account, anyone attempting to log into those services with your Global ID and password would also need that second factor, helping to protect your account should your password become compromised.

Email and calendar

CMU's email and calendar are provided within a Microsoft-based environment that is user friendly across all major operating systems and devices.

All CMU email addresses are created in the form of Global ID / CMU Account above)

All official administrative and course-related communications are sent to your CMU email address. Students can look up and communicate with you via email. As such, you are expected to check your account regularly. We discourage the practice of auto-forwarding CMU email to non-CMU email providers (gmail, yahoo, personal domains, etc.). Our support staff are unable to troubleshoot non-CMU email systems. We can help with our own.

You can access your email and calendar in a variety of ways, including:

Visit My Account to change your password, set or change your security questions, set an email alias, and more. Email aliases are ideal for those wishing to use a preferred name or a simple formatted address.

Phishing and spam

Scammers and spammers don’t take days off, so neither can you. CMU’s Information Technology team encourages all members of the University community and their supporters to be vigilant when reading and responding to email. Requests for personal information, promises of jobs or easy money, and prompts for immediate action are tell-tale signs of phishing. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Attention to detail, skeptical hovers, and grammar checks are but a few ways to identify and thwart phishing attempts. Check out our  Phishing Awareness page for additional information, tips, tricks, and the way to report SPAM to our admin team.

CMU utilizes Microsoft Office 365 for email and collaboration as well as their built-in spam/phishing filters. We also subscribe to Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection tools which help to filter out additional malicious messages. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible catch them all. Across the world, new threats are launched on an almost moment my moment basis. Our OIT Security Team continues to evaluate and implement additional controls to further reduce the amount of these types of messages. 

Central Mobile ID

For many years, CMU utilized a physical Central ID card that users would swipe or tap to gain access to secured spaces, pay for meals, use Flex dollars, check out library materials, attend events, and more. Starting in the Summer of 2022, incoming members of the University community began using Central Mobile ID on their mobile devices. 

Provided hardware 

All necessary and appropriate hardware will be provided to you based upon decisions and budgets within your respective college, department, and program. If you are interested in seeing the specifications and cost of the standard machines that we purchase for faculty, staff, classroom and lab use, check out our  pre-approved computer list. Request for non-standard technology must go through the Technology Acquisition Process.

From an Information Technology perspective, we offer support to the very best of our ability regardless of hardware type or operating system. Windows and Macintosh operating systems are the most commonly used and supported devices across the University community. As such, the vast majority of our enterprise level software and systems are chosen and designed to run these same major operating systems.

NOTE: While fine machines for very basic computing needs (typing, web surfing, etc.), we discourage the use of Chromebooks as a primary workstation. Chromebook users are unable to take advantage of the numerous free software available to them as a member of the CMU community. There are certain colleges, departments, or programs that use Chromebooks for very specific needs.

Personal hardware purchasing

As a CMU employee, you are eligible to purchase Apple and Dell computers at special discounted rates available only through the CMU Bookstore. The Bookstore also offers bundle deals on laptop and desktop computers, tablets, accessories, extended warranties, standard and custom configurations, and more. An extensive device trade-in service is available for numerous types of hardware.

Visit the CMU Bookstore website, search for keywords Apple or Dell  or click on Shop by Department > Technology to see all available hardware. If you have additional questions, contact the CMU Bookstore at 989-774-7493 or A staff member will respond and assist you as soon as possible.


As a CMU employee, you are provided with a LOT of software at no cost. Each is available for Windows and Mac operating systems, and many have mobile apps and/or web interfaces.

The list below includes some of the most popular software and systems utilized for academic, research, and personal use. Of course, there are many others used within specific colleges, departments, and programs. Technical support is available through the OIT Help Desk.

  • CMU-owned computers will have the standard software load already installed, but if you need to add or update something, you can do so via Software Center.  
  • Similar, but different, the Personal Computer Downloads article maintains a collection of utilities for both Windows and Mac. This is a great option for downloading and installing software to your personally-owned computers.

Blackboard Learning Management System

For every course that is offered at CMU, a Blackboard course shell is created. Faculty use Blackboard in many different ways and to many degrees depending upon their teaching and course management style. Students are accustomed to finding course the course syllabus, announcements, assignment information and submission options, grades, and more within Blackboard. Course shells are expected to be opened prior to or at the very start of each semester and are available for the duration of the course.

Microsoft Office 365

When most people think of Microsoft Office, they think of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and they also think of these software being installed onto a computer. While this is all accurate, Office 365 offers so much more. Office 365 is a collection of more than 25 different applications that you can use for all of your academic, research, and personal needs. Examples include Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Teams, Sway, Lists, Planner, Forms, Bookings, and more. Desktop and mobile applications are available to install on up to five of your personal desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. You can also access many of the tools via a web interface. 


Think of this as your hard drive in the sky that you can access from anywhere that you have an Internet connection. You provided with 1TB of cloud storage space where you can store whatever you wish, regardless of file type. This amount is, on average, four times larger than the built-in hard drive size of a standard user computer. Whatever you upload or save to OneDrive is secured behind your Global ID and password. Additionally, you can use all of the applications available within Office 365 web interface and save your work directly into your OneDrive. If you so desire, you can share individual files or folders with collaborators within and outside of CMU. You have full control over who sees what, for how long, and what they can do to the files. If your personal device needs to go in for repair, gets lost, or is stolen, you can still access your files and complete your work on a public or lab computer.

Adobe Creative Cloud

With a goal of increasing digital literacy across the University, CMU has partnered with Adobe to become an Adobe Creative Campus. That means that all faculty, staff, and students have access to two unique software collections at no cost, Adobe Express Premium and Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat DC, Premiere Pro, Express, Audition, Dreamweaver, and more).

Students can choose between the two collections. Faculty and staff can request a license for Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps which includes Adobe Express Premium software. 

Once a license is assigned, you can download and install mobile and desktop applications to your personal devices and start using them immediately. 

Qualtrics Research Core

Qualtrics Research Core XM is CMU's enterprise-level survey and data collection tool for both research and administrative projects. It offers users the ability to create surveys, collect responses, and analyze data. 


Panopto is used by faculty and students to record, edit, and deliver course content within a secure environment. Software is available via a local installation, web interface, and mobile application. The system offers screen recording, voice over, and video functionality. Whomever owns the content decides who can see it, for how long, if they can edit it, and more. It is not uncommon for faculty to record and provide links to content for students to review before or after class. 

Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams

These systems are two of our staple communication and collaboration tools. Each allows users to create a virtual space where they can come together, interact via audio and video, screen sharing, chat, whiteboards, file creation, cloud storage, and much more. Faculty are able to use each of these within their own respective personal and secure virtual environments. Faculty may choose to live stream and/or record classes using one of these tools.

Top Hat

The Top Hat system is our enterprise-level classroom audience response tool. It allows faculty to pose questions during class and students respond using their mobile devices. All of the results are added to a dedicated gradebook that can be synced with the Blackboard Grade Center. There are also some great homework, review, testing, and electronic textbook features in the system.

Virtual Lab

Some disciplines require the use of specialized and/or very expensive software. Not wanting to impose greater costs upon our students, we license that software and make it available to you and them via Virtual Lab machines. In short, you connect your computer to a cloud-based system, run the software, use the software, save your work, disconnect, and walk away. 

Network (wired and wireless)

Stop and think for a moment how many devices are connected across campus at any given time - computers, phones, tablets, gaming systems, televisions, and more. When you arrive to campus, you can choose the best option for your device and needs and proceed accordingly.

Upon connecting to the network, your device is linked to your Global ID. All that does is tell us who owns it. Nobody is watching your every online move. That said, don't do anything stupid. Any kind of illegal activity is monitored and we will come have a chat with you if you're found to be doing peer to peer sharing, hacking, or any other type of illegal activity.

Classroom and meeting room technology

CMU has 400+ mediated class and meeting rooms. We do our very best to make them as consistent and user-friendly as possible. In general, there are three types of rooms defined by the amount and complexity of the technology available. Training sessions are offered prior to the start of the semester and upon request. It is ideal to visit each of your classrooms prior to the first day of class so that you are aware of what is available and can plan accordingly. If you have questions or encounter a challenge while in the room, pick up the phone on or near the podium. This line rings directly to the OIT Help Desk and staff will provide assistance as quickly as possible. If the matter cannot be resolved over the phone, a tech will be dispatched the classroom for additional assistance.

Research IT support

CMU provides IT support for research and its associated technologies. Engage with OIT if you wish to discuss your research technology needs, review grants/contracts, or just discuss the best ways to approach your research using technology. We can help identify the best approach for your software, hardware, and infrastructure needs. To start the process, visit our Research IT Support service in the client portal and click the Request Assistance button located at the upper right of the page.

Central Alert (emergency notification system)

CMU has implemented measures to enhance communication through the use of the Central Alert notification system. In the event of a situation affecting the campus community (weather, campus closure, incidents on campus or in the local area, etc.), emergency notification broadcasts may be sent out in an effort to alert as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. The system can alert you via phone, text, or even an alternate email address. Employees are automatically enrolled into the system using their CMU email address and the phone number on record listed as Voice Only Contact. We recommend that you sign in and update or add your additional contact information so that if we need to contact you, we can.

A mobile app is available with additional safety features that complement Central Alert emergency notification messaging. Search for Rave Guardian in the App Store (iOS devices) or the Play Store (Android devices).

CMU Dining mobile apps

Hungry? Use the the website link and apps below to find out which of our numerous dining locations are open and what they are serving, including residential restaurants and food on the go. You can even order online and pick up on the fly.

Training opportunities

Training opportunities are available through a variety of organizations across the University community. If you can't find what you are in search of the via the links below, contact the OIT Help Desk for assistance. Keep an eye on CMU Today for announcements about additional opportunities throughout the semester.

PrintQ (printing on campus)

We live in a very electronic world. You're probably not asking your students to print as much as you once did, but sometimes it needs to happen. Within your offices, you will be connected to a shared network printer. Students are highly encouraged to use the campus-wide PrintQ system for all of their printing needs. Each semester, a designated amount of PrintQ credit is provided to every student. This is use it or lose it credit, so encourage them to use it instead of spending money on printers and ink of their own. 

Students can print from public or lab computers or upload documents via a web interface from their own computers. PrintQ kiosks are available in each of the academic buildings and residence halls. Most commonly, they are located in the atrium or lobby areas. The library has kiosks on each floor and within the 24-hour spaces. After selecting the closest print station, print jobs are released using their Global ID and password, and the appropriate amount is deducted from their PrintQ allotment. Print history, balance, and the ability to add credit is possible via the web interface.

Cell phone and mobile hotspot service

Faculty members are able to take advantage of CMU-exclusive deals with three major carriers - AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Considerable discounts, terrific device replacement cycles, and more are available through CONNECT CMU. Existing individual and family plans can be transferred into the CMU service environment.

SpectrumU (television programming)

CMU has contracted with Spectrum to provide television programming via the SpectrumU app, which can be used to stream live television to your computer or mobile device. The SpectrumU service is only available on-campus
NOTE: SpectrumU is a different service offering than Spectrum TV, which requires separate Spectrum account credentials and will NOT work with a CMU Global ID and password.

Information Technology-related policies

As an IT organization and a University, we have a lot of policies. We know it's easy to ignore them, kind of like the user agreements when you install new software, but they really do mean something. As a CMU employee, you automatically agree to abide by them. You can find a full list of our IT-related policies via the link below. 

We are all responsible for making sure that we are using technology appropriately and safeguarding access to our accounts as well as CMU's sensitive data.