Frequently Asked Questions by Faculty

The following is a compilation of questions that have been submitted over time by our faculty, committees and other academic entities.  These questions, along with the responses, may be helpful for all campus constituents.

MyCalStateLA ID

Please explain why we have the campus practice of locking users out of accounts when the incorrect password is typed in.

Locking users out after a series of failed or inaccurate passwords is a security best practice designed to prevent hackers from gaining access to computers, files, e-mail and systems by using hacking programs to identify weak passwords.  If unlimited attempts are allowed, hacker software could quickly and easily obtain simply-constructed user passwords to gain unauthorized access.  In compliance with CSU policy, the campus security standard is three failed attempts, after which the account is locked for 25 minutes.

What do I do when I am locked out?

The best solution is prevention, so keep these tips in mind.

  • Passwords are case sensitive so make sure that you do not have CAPS LOCK engaged.
  • Don’t ignore password expiration e-mails.  You have 15 days to reset your password and will receive a reminder, but it’s best to change your password as soon as you receive a notification.
  • Update your password on all your mobile devices at the same time you reset your campus password.  Mobile devices continuing to attempt a network connection with an outdated password will automatically lock out the user.
  • If you are unsure of your user ID or password and have failed access twice, STOP immediately and go to  Enter your User ID or Password, whichever you know.  Click on Forgot User ID or Forgot Password to retrieve the correct information.

If you are locked out, follow these steps.

  • Wait 25 minutes and the account will automatically unlock.  This will provide time to retrieve the correct user ID/password or update passwords on your mobile devices.
  • Contact the ITS Help Desk at 3-6170 and they will immediately unlock your account. This service is available 24x7 during each quarter and finals week.

How can users reset their passwords without having to come to the ITS Help Desk?

In summer 2010, ITS announced the new MyCalStateLA ID account and online, self-service offering.  Forgotten or compromised accounts can be reset online using the security questions that users created when they activated their MyCalStateLA ID account.  However, if users forget the answers to their security questions, they must come to the ITS Help Desk to validate their identity and reset their security questions.  Users can remotely reset their password from the MyCalStateLA Portal log-in webpage; the ITS home page (click on either Student/Faculty/Staff > MyCalStateLA ID account on the title bar or on the MyCalStateLA ID sidebar); or at

Why do we have to reset passwords every 90 days?

CSU Information Security Policy, Section 8060.0 and its accompanying Security Standard 8060.S000, both titled Access Control, require all CSU campuses to identify and implement password criteria that minimally meets or exceeds the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (U.S. Department of Commerce) Level 1 “Resistance to Guessing Authentication Secret.”  The 90-day password expiration meets these requirements.


The process to reset my GET password or unlock my account is difficult, especially when I am off campus.  Is there an easier method?

Effective January 22, 2015, GET account holders no longer need to complete the online form to reset their password or unlock their account.  This service is available 24x7 during each quarter and finals week.

To reset your GET password or unlock your account, you can either:

  • Call the ITS Help Desk (323-343-6170).  You will need to provide your CIN and answer the security questions you previously set up for your MyCalStateLA ID account. 


  • Stop by in person at the ITS Help Desk (Library Palmer Wing Lobby), Monday through Thursday – 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or the Annex Link (ST E191), 24x7, except during quarter breaks and University holidays.  You will need to provide your CIN and a valid photo id.


Now that the Global address book lists students, faculty and staff in one list, how do we target e-mails to all faculty or faculty and staff?

ITS can send distribution mailings for you.  Mass e-mail distributions must first be authorized by the provost (academic) and/or vice president for Administration and CFO (staff).  Once approved, they will notify ITS to proceed.

When viewing e-mails, I’ve noticed some individuals have pictures or icons associated with their profile.  How do I import my picture or an icon into the Office 365 Outlook Profile?

  • Log in to Office 365.  Click the Office 365 settings icon  at the top right corner and select Options.
  • Select account from the left navigation menu.  Your account information will be displayed.
  • At the bottom of the page, click Edit information.
  • A new window will appear which allows you to edit your account information.
  • Click photo from the left navigation menu and click Change.
  • Click Browse and select your image, then click Open.
  • Click Save to apply the image to your Office 365 profile.

I sent a time sensitive email to colleagues, but the message didn't arrive in a timely manner.  I learned the problem was related to spam.  Why can't ITS alert the campus to these spam blocking problems?

This was related to a specific incident, but the topic is important.  The campus email system did not create the problem.  The problem began when a campus employee replied to a phising message.  This gave the account and password to someone off campus, who in turn used that information to send a large amount of spam to off-campus accounts via the campus mail system.

The standard practice of all Internet Service Providers (ISP) (i.e., Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Google and Comcast) and some U.S. Government agencies (e.g., U.S. Army) is to stop accepting email from the spamming site.  The ISPs are not required to notify the spamming site that message blocking has begun: they simply begin rejecting any messages with a address.  ITS becomes aware of the message blocking only when informed by a campus constituent who reports a non-delivery notice.  Then the campus must wait up to 48 hours for verification and resumption of service to that ISP.

The solution to the problem is prevention.  Never respond to an email that asks you to click on a link to verify some personal information, even if the message and logo appear legitimate.  This is a phishing message that is attempting to acquire the recipient's personal or account information.

Public Folders

Public Folders no longer appear in Outlook 365 Outlook.  Are they still available?

Public Folders were not moved to Office 365 Outlook because the functionality was very different from the previous Public Folders.  Instead, all active Public Folders were migrated to SharePoint.  Access to the new Public Folders is through the MyCalStateLA Portal.  After logging into the portal, click on the new Public Folder icon  in the left QuickLaunch sidebar.

How do I access the Public Folders?

Access to the new Public Folders is through the MyCalStateLA Portal.  After logging into the portal, click on the new Public Folder icon in the left QuickLaunch sidebar.

You will need to log into SharePoint with your user name and password.

How do I request a Public Folder?

To request a SharePoint Public Folder, use form ITS-8821, available on the ITS Services web page.


As one walks around the campus, cell phones constantly ask to be reconnected to the wireless network.  Can this be corrected?

There is a difference between a carrier’s cellular network service (i.e., AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.) and cell phone Wi-Fi service, but the distinction is sometimes misunderstood.  Cell phone towers that are part of a user’s cellular network plan have the capability of passing an ongoing cellular call from one cell tower to another without interruption.  Wi-Fi cannot do this.  So when a caller using Wi-Fi service instead of their carrier’s cellular network leaves the perimeter of a Wi-Fi hot spot, the caller must log on to the Wi-Fi hot spot that covers their new area.

Is ITS addressing the wireless access issues in some buildings, especially King Hall?

As part of the 2012-2013 Student Success Fee Wi-Fi Availability project, ITS initially identified three priority high-density wireless areas, which included Salazar Hall (completed), the Golden Eagle food court (nearing completion) and King Hall (in the preliminary stage).  But it is important to note that King Hall has a complex building footprint, solid concrete walls and the lack of drop ceilings, which makes it cost-prohibitive to fully expand wireless coverage.  Wi-Fi signals do not travel through concrete.  The required building modifications and the quantity of Wi-Fi access points needed for comprehensive coverage far exceeds available funding.  That said, King Hall is scheduled for some additional upgrades and students will experience improved service.


Off-campus calls from Cal State L.A. show 343-3000 as the phone number, making it impossible to identify the callers.  Can the caller ID be shown?

If the calling party doesn’t leave a voice mail message, there is no way to identify the caller.  A PBX phone system operates differently than the individual land lines we use at home.  If a PBX supports 5000 employees, we can correctly assume that all 5000 users will not pick up the phone to place an off-campus call at the same time.  To conserve resources (equipment and fiscal), we use an algorithm to determine probability, and then install trunks, not phone lines, from the PBX to the external phone company office to handle the probable number of concurrent users.  Since these trunks are not in a one-for-one ratio to employees, are not connected directly to the caller’s extension, and caller phone number information cannot be transmitted over a trunk, there is no way to identify campus callers to off-campus phones.  All outgoing trunk calls are identified as originating from Cal State L.A. and the pilot number, 343-3000.

Some CSU campuses have a feature that allows voice mail messages to roll over to email.  Why don’t we have that feature?

This is not possible on our existing voice technology because voice mail and email are separate systems served by different cabling and software infrastructures.  The feature you are describing requires Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is a method of placing phone calls over high-speed Internet connections.  Based on a recently completed feasibility study, ITS is currently conducting a pilot of this technology in the TVFM building to evaluate its reliability, functionality and viability for our campus.  Looking ahead, converting to the new technology will be a major project for the campus in terms of project preparation, execution and funding.

How does this VoIP messaging feature work?

With VoIP, both voice mail and email messages are delivered to a single mailbox that holds both voice and email messages.  Upon message retrieval, the recipient can either choose to read or listen to any or all of the messages in this combined mailbox.

My Campus Information and Telephone Directory is four years old.  Why are we no longer printing the campus directory?

There are several reasons but the two most important are outdated information and cost.  With continual hiring, terminations, employee relocations and department name changes, directory listings were often outdated before the directory could be published and distributed.  In addition, directory change request forms were rarely submitted in a timely manner, but instead held until the annual campus directory printing.  This was problematic because we could not adequately maintain the online directory used by the campus operators to direct callers. And finally, printing costs increased annually and those funds could better serve our students by focusing on other methods for increasing their success through technology.  Moving the directory to the web where it can be continually updated by campus constituents provides a better business solution. 

When updating listings in the online campus directory, users can only submit one change at a time.  Can’t this be modified to allow multiple updates?

Yes, ITS updated this feature after migration to the new Drupal web platform and users can now submit multiple updates.

When mistyping or misspelling a name while searching the online directory, could alternative names be provided to avoid repetitive entries?

This option is currently unavailable but ITS is about to begin a discovery phase to develop a solution.  The directory feature is currently an integration of a stand-alone database and the website. ITS is looking for a new Active Directory (MyCalStateLA ID) solution that will incorporate all current telephone directory information.  This solution will provide the search capability necessary to provide alternative listings.


Faculty is aware of the move to a new content management system, Drupal.  Why is this change being made?

This is in response to the Chancellor’s challenge to improve the University’s website.  Specifically, the pilot project’s purpose was to assist Public Affairs in resolving problems with the University home page; to get the home page, pilot department (Public Affairs) and pilot college (Arts and Letters) sites up in the least amount of time possible; and to support the campus’s goals of improving its outward web appearance.  The pilot successfully concluded on December 16, 2013.

Why did you have a pilot project rather that move the entire campus website to the new platform?

The pilot implementation narrowed the scope of work while helping us to learn how to migrate content, how to review and correct the content, and how much effort and time it takes to do this work.  By moving in campus segments, we can focus on training the page authors so they are adequately prepared to evaluate, update, redesign and maintain their web pages. 

What are the benefits to faculty of a content management system?

The benefits for everyone include improved flexibility, scalability, ADA compliance, interaction with social media sites and services, and unique features that make it easy for departments to deploy web content.  Page authors can create web pages without knowledge of current web programming languages: technically, creating or updating a webpage is as simple as creating a MS Word document.  Pages are automatically checked for ADA compliance.  New or updated web pages are automatically routed to division web page approvers, who can publish approved pages with a single click.  With the increasing student use of mobile devices and social media, web content will be more accessible and compatible.

Why weren’t faculty web pages migrated as part of the initial project?

Faculty pages vary greatly both in complexity and format.  Some are actively maintained and used for instructional purposes, whiles others are outdated.  Faculty pages, because of the complexity and variations, were not initially migrated.  New faculty templates were created for Arts and Letters.  Now that these templates have been created and tested, faculty can move or re-create their content when their college migrates.

Approximately how long does it take to update one web page?

Duration varies based on the complexity of the existing web page. Successfully migrating images, text and links from an existing page with little or no customization still requires some basic content editing, typically between 5 to 15 minutes.  In some cases, creating a new web page is a better option and new pages can be created in less than an hour.  But complex pages with complicated layouts, slide shows, i-frames, videos, flash and scripts require a great deal of work and, depending on the complexity, could take one work day or a week. 

There is a noticeable difference with the new web pages.  Is the entire website being redesigned?

The initial pilot was not an attempt to redesign or rebrand the website; however, some redesign was required to resolve poorly designed elements and to take advantage of the new platform.  Because of these changes, new templates were required.

There are a significant number of outdated web pages.  Who is responsible for keeping content up-to-date?

Page authors are responsible for updating their content.  Some divisions or departments may have a designated page author for their respective web content.

Is it true that there is an interface between GET and the faculty template?

There is an automated interface being developed between GET and the new faculty template that will provide automatic updates of the faculty class schedule.  This will be an optional interface for the faculty.

What support or training is available for faculty?

ITS has created a Web Support and Training website that includes videos, how-to guides and an in-person training schedule. 

Is there any content that should not be migrated to Drupal?

Things that should not be migrated include: outdated content, java scripts, style sheets, forms and videos.

  • Scripts cannot be migrated because of conflicts between JavaScript (version we currently run) libraries and Drupal required/compatible versions.
  • Style sheets cannot be migrated because we use new style sheets with Drupal.
  • Forms do not migrate well.
  •  Video streaming from our servers is not supported.

What are the alternatives, if any, for content that cannot be migrated to Drupal?

Depending on the script requirements you may or may not be able to recreate them in the new environment: if you cannot, you can leave them in the old environment.  Forms can be recreated in the new environment or left as is in the old environment.  Videos can remain available on the existing system or be hosted on a streaming service, such as YouTube: several campus departments currently sponsor YouTube channels.

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