Introducing CampusPress

Thursday, May 4, 2023

The new Groups @ University Life is a web hosting service that utilizes CampusPress, a WordPress-powered platform designed for higher education websites. The service gives you the ability to get up and running quickly with a new website or blog using Penn-branded templates and curated plugins; and is intended to replace the now deprecated Dolphin Group website hosting service.

PennKey Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) Now Available

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

We are pleased to announce that the new PennKey Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) application is now available. SSPR is a modern, secure, easy-to-use app for resetting your own PennKey password if forgotten – using only your pre-registered personal (non-Penn) email address and cell phone number.

Using SSPR for PennKey Password Resets

  • Before using the app, you must have previously enrolled in SSPR and registered your preferred personal contact information.
  • Once enrolled, you can use SSPR to send a code to your registered personal email to quickly reset a forgotten password at any time. After completing the reset, a notification message will be sent to both your registered personal email and cell phone (both are required to use SSPR).

Note: Those who choose not to enroll in SSPR will continue to contact their LSPs or Service Desks if they need to reset forgotten PennKey passwords.

Help and Resources

Learn More About Web Accessibility

Monday, August 8, 2022

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to providing equal access to information, programs, and activities by making our web pages accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

Web Content

When creating web content is such an important role for maintaining accessibility on the web.  Below are some accessibility web tips:

Use proper heading structure

When you’re creating a web page full of content, think of it as a typical Word document.  You would want to title your document, this would be the <h1> in HTML, or Heading 1 in WordPress, as your primary heading.  Then within the document, you would have sub-sections, this would be sub headings in HTML like <h2>, <h3>.  It is important not to lead off a page with a sub heading, like an <h2> and always lead off with <h1>.

When using WordPress to manage your website, within the format box in the page editor toolbar, <h1> will be Heading 1, <h2> will be Heading 2, etc. 

An image highlighting the format section within WordPress to change your paragraph to a heading

When you create or manage a page in WordPress, the title of your page will automatically give your page an <h1>.  After you give your page a title, you can use sub headings to section and grouping your content.  Avoid using headings for styling.  It is also important not to skip a heading level, Heading 3 should follow a Heading 2, and never directly after a Heading 1.

Keep hyperlinks in context

It is important to describe a hyperlink to your audience.  When creating a link to another page, try to keep context like “learn more about us” instead of “click here.”

Describe your images with alternative text

Alternative text provides a textual alternative to non-text content in web pages.  This will be read by screen readers, allowing the content of the image to be accessible to visitors with visual or cognitive disabilities.  Every image must have an ALT attribute.  If the image is purely decorative, an empty ALT attribute can be provided (e.g. ALT=””).

When using WordPress to manage your web page, when you upload an image, there is a section to provide alternative text.  Use this to provide a description of your image.  You only need to set it once and then whenever you insert this image going forward, it’ll automatically bring over that alternative text.

An image highlighting the Alternative Text field when uploading an image in WordPress

Additional resources

Additional information and guidance on accessibility can be found on the following Penn websites

Scheduled Data Center Network Maintenance (8/6-8/7)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

ISC will be upgrading Data Center firewalls on Saturday from 4:00 AM until 7:00 AM. During this time, there will be intermittent connectivity disruptions to ISC-hosted services and

administrative applications. Impacted ISC-hosted services and administrative applications

include but are not limited to:

  • All mainframe applications
  • Archives
  • Atlas
  • Athletics
  • BEN Deposits
  • BEN Financials
  • Business Services (Parking, Dining, Campus Express, StarRez)
  • Classlists
  • Contact Center (Genesys platform)
  • Data Warehouse collections
  • Facilities
  • Penn Community
  • Penn Directory
  • PennNet Mailing Lists
  • Research Services systems (HSERA, ARIES, RIS, Polaris, PennERS)
  • SMTP-Relay

Wireless connectivity will not be affected by this outage.

More Information:

FY22/23 Data Center Schedule – The full FY22/23 Data Center planned maintenance schedule is available at

If you have any questions, please contact University Life Technology Services at

John’s Story

Friday, August 6, 2021
A photo of three students who are extremely happy. The student in the middle is giving a thumbs up.

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..”, comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

Example Post

Thursday, August 5, 2021
A photo showcasing the Logitech C930E

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

IMPORTANT Windows Patching

Friday, July 9, 2021

Good afternoon,

Earlier this week there was a new vulnerability exploit on Microsoft Windows machines. We are currently making sure that a patch for this exploit is install on your computer so that you are fully protected. In most cases the patch has been installed however, there are some exceptions,and in those cases, we will need to install the patch manually. If your computer needs to have the patch installed manually, we will contact you using email or by Microsoft Teams. In that event, allow us to schedule time at your earliest convenience so that this patch can be installed. Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the emergency line at 215-573-8324 and then “press 1”.

University Life Technology Services

IMPORTANT Information on AirPennNet Connection

Friday, July 9, 2021

Your AirPennNet certificate may have expired since being off campus. Instructions for re-connecting to AirPennNet can be found here

Zoom Cloud Recording Management

Monday, February 22, 2021

The PennZoom (which includes VPUL’s Zoom instance) service includes access to Zoom Cloud Recording, which allows PennZoom users the ability to record meetings and store recordings and transcripts in Zoom’s cloud.

Effective February 22, 2021, VPUL will need to replicate the policy that is set for Penn’s instance.  Recordings are stored for 120 days, after which they will be deleted.  Consider downloading and storing your recordings outside of Zoom’s cloud.

VPUL Zoom Recording Automatic Delete Policy

  • Any recordings in Zoom’s cloud will be deleted once it is older than 120 days.
  • Deleted recordings will be moved to the trash bin, where they will be held for retrieval for an additional 30 days.
  • All recordings that need to be maintained for longer than 120 days should be stored outside of Zoom’s cloud.

Download your Zoom Cloud Recordings

  1. Navigate to from a web browser. Select the Sign in button to login using your PennKey credentials.
  2. From the navigation menu on the left-side of window, click Recordings, and then select Cloud Recordings.
  3. Locate the recording(s) you want to download and select the file(s). Note: If your meeting has not finished converting, the recording will show in the list with a Processing Recording label.
  4. Click on the recording icon to view the file, or click the Download button to download the file.
  5. Once completed, you can delete the file by clicking the Trash Bin

Recommended VPUL Online Collaboration Tools

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Below you’ll find information on connecting and collaborating with colleagues and students remotely. In addition to the commonly used Microsoft Office applications, our recommended Penn collaboration tool is Microsoft Teams. However there are different flavors of applications like BlueJeans and Zoom for video conferencing, and Penn+Box for file sharing.

Instant Messaging

Video Conferencing

File Sharing

Email and Calendaring

Online Learning