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I Would Prefer Not to Change My Password: A Security Journal

Professor Bartleby Hoffman

UW-Milwaukee

Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Today, I forgot my office keys and left my Duo fob at home on my dresser next to my hand sanitizer. I realized right before my class that I couldn’t get in to the network. It was a nightmare.

Duo is so damned difficult! It is so difficult to navigate that even Siri won’t talk to it!

It is being so difficult that I hear they’re sending it to a relationship counselor!

I hate Duo, the little fob that I finger in my pocket, pressing the unsatisfying squishy button to randomly generate numbers. They’ve made me ashamed of my old password: guest1234567. Pa55w0rD_5ham1ng really upsets me.

I am learning now that the generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance. I wrote my new password down on the IT Security Certificate I earned through an online training course. I printed it as proof that I excelled at the exercise, and taped it to my office door. It’s cool, because I can declare it as advanced training on my annual merit form. Nothing is wasted, everything recycled. Number thirteen? Not on my watch!

Monday, November 4, 2019

There was a problem with some of the computers in Student Housing getting drunk over the weekend. They were all taking screenshots.

Campus police investigated, but couldn’t de-acquisition them because they were all over twenty-one years old.

There was a big party in the modem pool. Security was slack, and someone hacked the splash page. Color palette norms were violated, branding ran amok, recruitment was seriously compromised, and the future looks grim.

Trash piles up in the hallways. Everyone has taken early retirement or been rehired on an hourly basis. The State Legislature continues to fund us at thirty cents on the dollar compared to Madison. To make things worse, some of our colleagues in STEM lost a massive NSF grant they had received for designing a more efficient keyboard. They weren’t putting in enough shifts. The state jumped on this as yet another good argument against tenure.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Proof today that our modest AAUP chapter cares as much about UWM staff as we do faculty. We were called in to help a UWM Staff Security Specialist who was reprimanded by the administration for always showing up late for work. This didn’t seem fair. He had a hard-drive. They dropped the case, but parking remains a problem.

I realized today that autocorrect has become my worst enema. I heard in a Chairs and Director’s meeting that our Public Relations & Communications Resource Manager got severely constipated while writing an important PR blast about Pounce, the Panther. His laptop was broken so he had to work it all out with his pencil. It wasn’t pretty. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

It has been awhile since I’ve had time to write. A lot has happened at the institution lately. They’ve taken away titles, but then assured us that we can still use them for business cards and email signatures. There is a new “Zero Tolerance” policy that links our paltry raises with the filling out of multiple forms and taking of online security tests which never seem to change. I’m not sure which forms I need to complete, and found all of my security reminders and notifications in my email junk drawer.

Some of us suspect that the security emails are generated by bots since they don’t comply with their own standards. The test is cool, however, and I’ve got a new certificate to prove it; the third one on my office door. We are told that we need to do better, be better, work harder, retire earlier, to make this a “best place to work.”

I’m feeling anxious lately. I took my new password in to our folks in IT to be sure I was changing it correctly. I don’t want to make mistakes. The IT staff member, always helpful, asked me my password. “Chapman_Hall,” I said, and I proudly explained that the C and the H were capitalized, with an underscore between the two words. He looked at me, concerned. He paused, then hesitantly observed, “Ugh…that’s not a very strong password!” I was crestfallen, and he noticed it. I think he wanted to make me feel better so he added, “I’m curious… Why did you choose the words Chapman Hall?” “Oh, it’s obvious!” I replied, eager to explain my foolproof logic. “I read on our IT website that really good passwords were full of irrelevant and disconnected characters that make little sense to anyone else!”

Monday, March 2, 2020

AAUP asked me to write 500 words on our Chancellor. I got a few done, but then campus police came and pulled me off. Please let my friends know that I will be needing their help. You can access my email with my new password: “Eye_W00d_Pr3f3r_N0t_2.”

I was assured that it is moderately acceptable, which is all I can muster these days.

Protect the Role of the Humanities in Public Life!

From the National Humanities Alliance:

The most recent Presidential Budget Request calls for the elimination of

  1. the National Endowment for the Humanities;
  2. the elimination of the National Historic Records and Publications Commission, a critical source of grants for preserving our heritage and making it accessible to the public;
  3. the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), along with other cultural agencies;
  4. and the elimination of Title VI and Fulbright-Hays!

Take action to oppose these proposals!

Join us at these exciting upcoming events!

IMPORTANT: TODAY, Friday 2/9: ORGANIZING EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO SNOW.

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EVENT 1: AAUP Organizing and Training Event with Monica Owens, Department of Organizing and Services, AAUP National

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9th 

9 AM- 12 Noon

Location: Curtin 175

            Agenda

            9-11 am             Recruitment strategies and chapter organizing

            11-12 noon     Student allies

Bring 3 friends! Monica Owens, based in Washington D.C., is an organizer with wide-ranging experience, specializing in campaigns and advocacy for K-12 and higher education.

 

EVENT 2: Roundtable discussion

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12th

12:00 PM

Location: UWM, Honors House 196

Open to all UWM and UW-System faculty, staff, and students

 

EVENT 3: Bagel hour lunch with graduate students

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th

12:00 PM

Location: UWM, Center for 21st Century Studies, 9th floor Curtin Hall

Open to all graduate students

 

EVENT 4: Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in the Humanities, followed by reception

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13th

4:00 PM

Title: Does the U.S. Need Public Universities?

Location: UWM Golda Meir Library, 4th floor conference center

Free and open to the public

 

 

Help Save Graduate Education

From the AAUP:
The tax bill passed by the House of Representatives threatens to devastate graduate education by reclassifying tuition waivers as taxable income–a move that, if it becomes law, would result in an untenable financial burden for many graduate students. It would also repeal the current Student Loan Interest Deduction, which would result in an increased cost of roughly $24 billion to student borrowers over the next decade. The Senate Bill did not include these provisions.
You can help stop these provisions from becoming law. 
As the House and Senate work to reconcile their bills, it’s vital that you tell your Members of Congress that you oppose the House version. Call or write your Members of Congress today through this advocacy link provided by the National Humanities Alliance: http://p2a.co/ZkGXFz8.
Download a sign to hang on campus here.
Learn more about the proposal to tax tuition waivers here: http://www.nhalliance.org/senate_passes.
Local opportunities to protest the grad tax:
FightTheGradTax
ProtestFlyerGradTax
Meet up with others passionate about democratic public education:
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Campus Equity

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  • Check out #2017CEW resources on the One Faculty, One Resistance site.
  • See Carolyn Betensky’s essay in the recent issue of AAUP’s magazine, Academe“Tenured Allies” and the Normalization of Contingent Labor.                                        It’s time for tenured faculty to address the elephant in the room.
  • Take action: A group of tenured, tenure-track, and contingent faculty is circulating an open letter to the editors of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges Ranking system proposing that the magazine consider adjusting the “faculty resources” section of the rankings in order to reflect more accurately current academic realities. Add your name to the letter here.
  • Join us! The UWM AAUP fall annual meeting is Friday, November 17, 2017 at 3:30pm in Lubar 110. David Vanness (Madison) will be our guest of honor and will be giving a talk titled “The Right to Silence: UW System’s Policy on Protest.”