Working & Teaching Remotely

The following resources are available to support routine work or academic function. This is in response to the university’s decisions to move courses and all operations to online and virtual services. The services described on this page connect you with colleagues and students so that work and learning can continue uninterrupted.

For assistance or questions, please contact your department IT staff or the Central IT Technical Support Help Desk at (970) 491-7276 or via email at help@colostate.edu. Please note: University closures may slow the Help Desk response time.

Telecommuting Illustration

Keep Working Resources

CSU provides secure access to on-campus resources via a secure gateway, also known as an SSL VPN. This provides a secure connection that you will need to work from a remote location to access certain campus resources. This service requires a valid CSU eID and two factor authentication through DUO.

For more information or if you need assistance installing or using the Pulse VPN client, see the ACNS security web page. If you still need help, please contact your local/departmental IT support contact.

  • Resources in “the cloud”, which you can reach directly from home without a VPN:
    • Any of the Microsoft Office 365 applications, including email, OneDrive, Teams, and SharePoint Online
    • Google apps
    • Canvas
    • Other cloud-based applications you normally use
    • Talent Management System
  • Resources you’ll need the VPN to connect to:
    • Remote Desktop to your work PC
    • Your departmental file server
    • MyPhone portal
    • Anything you’d reach through the Administrative Applications & Resources (AAR) page:
      • HR System
      • Kuali Financial System
      • TimeClock Plus

If you aren’t already familiar with Microsoft Teams, it is available to you as a campus resource. It has video conferencing capabilities, file sharing, collaboration tools, and other features and is a part of our current Microsoft licensing suite.  Training videos can be found here:  Microsoft Teams Training Videos.

The full functionality of Teams is available to faculty and staff, but anyone you invite can join a Teams meeting. Every department or unit has a dedicated Microsoft Teams resource coordinator who can create new Teams for you. For more information, see our resource coordinators page.

Anyone with a CSU eid can use Teams. You can access it via the Office 365 portal in a web browser, or via the Teams client for desktop or mobile devices. You do not need to belong to a Team to use the chat, meeting, video conferencing, or file-sharing features.

As many of you have seen, there has been recent news related to Zoom and their challenges related to ‘Zoombombing’ and other privacy concerns.  In working with our University Information Security Officer, we want to provide you with an update and recommendation.

Are we at risk from using Zoom?

In general, we view Zoom as a non-secure means of video conferencing.  It can be used for non-secure conversations, but a user shouldn’t expect absolute anonymity.

What should we use?

At CSU, Microsoft Teams is our supported standard for meetings that require a higher level of security and privacy. These meetings may include conversations that touch on private topics, or where sensitive information may be exchanged in voice or text chats, or where documents may be exchanged… in all of these cases, MS Teams is our recommendation. Microsoft provides us with encryption, the possibility of strong access control, and contractual agreements that make us more confident about the protection provided by Teams.

If Zoom is used, are there additional guidelines to be aware of?

We understand that a number of campus areas are using Zoom for meetings, instruction, and social interaction. Given this, we recommend:

  1. Keep your Zoom client version up to date. Be sure you are using a recent version, so that it is patched against vulnerabilities.  Zoom has released new updates that address some of the recent concerns.
  2. Zoom is best for non-secure conversations. Zoom should not be used when discussing sensitive topics, or for relaying sensitive information.
  3. The chat feature of Zoom is a useful tool, but has had a vulnerability in the way it treats links on online information. At this time, we recommend avoiding including links in Zoom chat.
  4. Use the features provided with Zoom to limit attendance where feasible. These features include a waiting room and meeting passwords.
  5. Do not use personal meeting IDs (which stay the same from meeting to meeting); instead, create a new meeting ID for each meeting. This approach avoids personal meeting IDs becoming well-known and published in a way that can be distributed broadly to
    unauthorized users.

Make sure you are set up with Duo two factor authentication. Duo is a tool that provides two-factor authentication to better protect your account by requiring an additional piece of information beyond your username and password. When you access CSU VPN services (using either the Pulse Client and secure.colostate.edu)  you will be required to use a device that you have — your mobile phone, desk phone, a hardware token, or other device — to provide an additional code to get access to your account. This provides you with an additional layer of online security and protection. To find out more information or sign up for Duo, please see our Duo two factor authentication information page.

We recognize that working remotely for those employees with disabilities or impairments might present additional challenges; the Assistive Technology Resource Center and OEO are here to support you.

  1. If you have questions regarding new or revised reasonable accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at oeo@colostate.edu or (970) 491-5836.
  2. If you have concerns with accessing or using your assistive technology while working remotely please contact the ATRC at (970) 491-6258 (leave a voice mail)  or atrc@colostate.edu.
  3. If you have general concerns accessing electronic information at CSU then please report an electronic access issue at CSU here.

Log in to Office365 with your CSU ename@colostate.edu as the username and your ePassword.

For access to Kuali, Human Resources functions, TimeClock Plus, Talent Management System and other applications, log in to the AAR Portal. Please note: to access the AAR portal from off-campus you will need to use the VPN (Pulse Secure).

Faculty and staff members can download the full version of Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) on up to five personal computers.  For more information and instructions to download this software, see our ACNS Software Downloads page.

Consult your local IT support if you need to remotely access files or campus resources, including your office computer.

To improve performance of your Remote Desktop session, consider optimizing it.

You can forward your office calls to a local cell phone or other local phone number. To configure call forwarding or SimRing services use the MyPhone portal. To learn more, please see our Telecom MyPhone web page. Please note: to access the MyPhone portal from off-campus you will need to use the VPN (Pulse Secure).

You can check your office voicemail from anywhere; from either your email account or from the MyPhone portal. See our Voicemail Resources page for instructions.

To facilitate working from home, supervisors are directed to allow employees to take home computers, monitors, keyboards, docking stations and other items when feasible and helpful to the employee for performing their university tasks. Employees are expected to be responsible for these items and use them for university business. This equipment checkout form can be used to keep track of this equipment.

The ergonomics program in the office of risk management and insurance has great resources for folks who are working from home, and can provide services virtually/remotely! What’s more, their services are free of charge for all CSU faculty, staff and students.

Highly recommended for all employees working remotely on a computer from home: complete the online training – How to Setup your Computer Workstation. If more assistance is needed, request a virtual/remote ergonomic evaluation.

Please also check out this ergonomics flyer for your home setup.

Keep Teaching

For information on teaching remotely, please see the Keep Teaching Resources on our Canvas website.

Faculty and instructors should be preparing their courses for online instruction. If you have not used Canvas, reach out to your college Canvas coordinators as a first step. Please see our Canvas Coordinators page for more information.

Security tips to keep working and teaching remotely:

  • Be aware that some of the security protections we have in place for the CSU network aren’t available as you work at home. This includes protection from websites that are maliciously posing as CSU resources. Be especially careful about clickable links and attachments in emails. Think before you click, and ask if you’re concerned.
  • Attackers are actively exploiting our concerns over COVID-19. Avoid clicking links to maps, graphs, reports, and the latest numbers, particularly if you’re not familiar with the source. Official channels like the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and official CSU communiques, should point you toward legitimate news and information.
  • The Pulse VPN is available for your use if you have a need to connect the campus network. See the list above for typical needs of this kind. The easiest way to connect for *web* resources is the web interface: https://secure.colostate.edu — There are a number of pre-populated links for commonly used services. If you need resources that are not available in the web interface, you may need to install the Pulse client — a freestanding VPN application for desktops and mobile devices. Check with your local IT support to see which you might need, and whether they have advice particular to your own area.
  • Be cautious about downloading documents from CSU that might have sensitive information in them. Avoid storing these documents on a home computer. This kind of information may include personally identifiable data on students or employees of CSU, as well as highly sensitive data like SSNs, credit card numbers, and proprietary research data

Arizona State University has put together some helpful tips and resources for those who are working remotely with kids still in school.

Some of things you’ll find on this page include: a number of learning tools such as virtual field trips; library access; video lessons, labs and simulations in K-12 subject areas; badge and certificate programs in areas such as health and well-being, smart cities and environmental science; tutoring, online courses and training videos for teachers or parents teaching from home.