Groups Overview

We work in groups all the time. Students take courses as part of a group. Faculty and staff sit on committees, participate in ad hoc research teams or project teams, and are members of one or more departments. Increasingly, groups use collaboration tools to support their joint work. It is quite natural to expect all of these tools to support the concept of communicating and sharing with groups.

You can set up groups, roles, and permissions for many purposes. Key collaborative applications -- mailing lists, wikis, calendars, etc. -- can use this group, role, and permission information to make authorization decisions.  BrownGroups provides a Single Point of Control.  Once a person is added or removed from a group, the group-related privileges are automatically updated in all of your collaborative applications. Grouper allows efficient management of the membership roster at a single point.

BrownGroups service automates and simplifies many tasks related to maintaining lists of individuals (groups).

  • Lists are automatically populated and refreshed with organizational data.
  • Lists can be customized by adding and removing individuals to meet unique department needs.
  • Lists can include non-Brown individuals (future feature).
  • Departmental Identity Administrators (DIAs) have privileges to maintain groups for the department and can designate these privileges to others in the department.
  • Once created, a list can be used to send email, schedule events, share resources, grant access, etc.
  • CPI maintenance can be fed to R@B (through either the simple GUI or even simpler interface (web form).
  • Lists are automatically created and populated with students based on their enrollments.
  • Lists will be provisioned to the central Active Directory repository (coming 6/1).
  • Offers simplifed and consistent use of the same group or role in many places.
  • Allows access and management of lists to be handled directly with no IT involvement.

At Brown we use a system called Grouper as the backbone of our Groups activity.  Grouper makes it possible for certain groups such as department or course groups to be automatically maintained, or provisioned, by Workday and Banner. This means that you will no longer have to worry about updating a list when someone leaves a department or withdraws from a course. You can continue to use a group to send email or allow access to sensitive information with confidence, knowing that it has been updated and represents the most current list.

Overview of Different Ways to Use Groups at Brown