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University of Rochester Creates Modern Access Control with Secure, Multi-Application Technology

New York higher-education institution prepares for the future with smart cards personalized for over 10,000 students and faculty per year.

smart cards

Business Challenge

The University of Rochester, New York, is a prestigious, research-driven education institute comprised of seven schools of learning and over 200 academic programs. Using state-of-the-art technology, the University of Rochester is home to world-class research facilities that empower eminent discoveries. Its Medical Center is nationally renowned for its research program, teaching hospital, and advanced treatments that save patient lives and improve quality of living.

With numerous schools of learning spread across multiple campuses, a robust ID badging and access control program with air-tight security is a must. As Manager of ID Card and Access Control Operations, Brian Regan and his team issue over 22,000 programmed cards a year for initial issuance (new students, faculty, contract employees and visitors), lost cards, and replacement cards. The University’s dated magnetic stripe cards introduced a myriad of problems. The mag stripe wore out quickly, and excessive re-swiping to get the reader to process the card info chewed up system bandwidth. MRI technicians at the Medical Center kept coming back for new cards—the large imaging machines they worked with demagnetized the magnetic stripes on their cards!

Brian wanted a future-proof access control and credentialing solution that was easy to manage and could support a wide array of student and faculty programs.


Brian needed a trusted partner with a focus on customer relationships. He cut loose a previous supplier for poor service and inadequate blank card packaging that caused a good number of cards to become damaged. Levata became the new vendor for the University’s legacy magnetic stripe card program. Brian already had proof that their solutions are backed by responsive support. His history with the company gave Brian the affirmation he needed to select Levata as the partner that would help his university revamp its ID badging and access control practice.

Smart Cards + Card Readers

The University of Rochester needed more than just door access. Levata recommended smart card technology for its security and flexibility. Brian Regan agreed: “After a cyberattack threat, it became overly clear that we needed to move away from mag stripe cards and readers.” Multi-layer protection with cryptographic encryption is specially designed to store secure identity data—just the protection the University needed against unauthorized parties. ID smart cards are uniquely fit for evolving needs and unlike a mag stripe card, can’t get damaged. The University of Rochester can issue a single card to staff and students that manages door access as well as dining hall and time and attendance tracking. The ID badging department and card owners are thrilled to be rid of spotty performance from magnetic stripe cards!

The University of Rochester orders pre-printed cards to reduce time and supply resources; the smart cards arrive to Brian’s team with university contact and emergency information on the back side of cards, leaving only the front of the card to be printed in-house.

For the ID and Access Control Manager, the new credential readers needed to be simple to use, easy to install, and future ready. Brian wanted to be poised for modern credential applications without a system overhaul. Levata recommended smartcard readers for their versatility and ability to accept mobile credentials – a convenient, modern access control approach quickly growing in popularity. The readers can be connected and managed remotely, no physical contact necessary. Over 300 ID card readers are now stationed across the University campus.


With secure, multi-application smart access control, the University of Rochester is operating a best-in-class ID badge and physical access program. With smart card technology and adaptable readers, Brian no longer loses sleep about security, or the future of their people access program. According to Brian, the support provided has been invaluable. “Levata handles all the logistics of our access control program – it makes my job easy.”

Proudly hailed as the sixth largest private employer in the state of New York, the University of Rochester is firmly positioned to continue expanding its ID badging program as the institution itself thrives and grows.

  • Industry


  • Capability

    People ID & Secure Access Control

  • Application

    Smart access control cards; access control card readers

  • Challenge

    Implement new smart card technology and corresponding access control readers across the multiple locations of a campus with over 10,000 students and faculty

  • Featured Solution

    New smart card technology and corresponding access control readers

  • Key Benefits

    Remotely managed access control credentials. Multi-layered security that protects user and university data from unauthorized access. Extended use application for campus dining, employee time and attendance, and point-of-sale transactions. Mobile-ready credential readers primed for modern access control.

I just can’t say enough about the customer service and support we received from Levata. I decline any new offers because I love the service so much–to boot, no one has been able to beat the pricing!
– Brian Regan, Manager, ID Card and Access Control Operations