University of Alaska Anchorage Upgrades Campus Safety

Faced with an aging housing access control system, the University of Alaska Anchorage was in need of a reliable system capable of integrating with its existing residential operations management software. The University, which houses about 1,000 students, turned to SARGENT, an ASSA ABLOY Group brand, for a campus-wide housing access control system. 

The university selected SARGENT Passport 1000 P2 WiFi locks, along with the ASSA ABLOY PERSONA Campus Software for use throughout the campus’ residential buildings. The P2 locks control user access locally and communicate with the access control system via the school’s IEEE 802.11 WiFi network, allowing administrators and campus safety officials to update user access lists and review access event logs wirelessly. 

“We needed something that could integrate with our housing management system and eliminate the need to update access permissions on each lock. Our previous system used stand-alone locks that were failing and required a PDA to download and update information,” explained Jody Inman, Associate Director and Operations Manager of Housing Services at University of Alaska Anchorage. “The PERSONA software integrated nicely with our existing housing system, so we can now push that information directly to the software and update access permissions wirelessly.”

Because the PERSONA software integrates easily with existing ID Cards, the new system allows the University to use its student ID cards as key cards for access to buildings and dorm rooms. The  campus’ new Passport 1000 P2 locks are programmed to require dual credentials. Students must slide their ID card and enter a four-digit pin to enter their room, a considerable student safety upgrade where lost or stolen cards cannot solely be used to gain access. 

“The PERSONA Software allows campus police and administrators to research a student anywhere in the housing system because information  is easily accessible through the software,” explained Inman. 

Integration of the new system required ensuring that the necessary WiFi infrastructure was in place. However, according to Inman, once the network was in place and the  signal strength was great enough, the install was completed entirely over the 2012 Christmas break. “We met weekly to get all the state and local university IT people on board with the system. Because it is a wireless system there were certain security measures that needed to be taken to make sure the proper firewalls were in place,” commented Inman. 

Summarizing the benefits of the new system, Inman said “The capability to integrate PERSONA with our existing housing management system and ability to push that information to the SARGENT WiFi locks really made it the most logical choice for our campus. It’s truly a win-win for us because housing services is more efficient and the students are safer.”