Mansfield University links access control to IP video with Axis

Rural university improves dorm security by integrating intelligent keycard system with network video surveillance

Linking Axis network cameras to our keycard system gives us a much higher level of security than we’ve ever enjoyed before. We can see where our problem situations are occurring and take immediate steps to reduce our potential liability.“ Chuck Colby, Association Vice President of Residence Life, Mansfield University.


Mansfield University, a state college in upstate Pennsylvania, wanted a better way to balance student freedom with residence hall security. Despite dormitory policy, students often left doors propped open while going in and out of the dorms, jeopardizing the safety of everyone living in the buildings. Residence Life administrators decided that installing a keycard access system tied to video surveillance would reduce the university’s potential liability while improving security in the co-ed housing facilities.


The university contracted with Blackboard Transact, a Phoenix, AZ-based network integrator and Axis partner, to integrate the school’s One Card ID system with dorm access control and Axis fixed dome network cameras installed above entryways. Since the dorms were already wired for Internet access, the cameras could utilize Power over Ethernet to connect to the network with a simple Ethernet drop. Each residence hall director is authorized to monitor video associated with their building. Campus police actively monitor the cameras at all four dormitories using Blackboard Video Surveillance.


With the help of the Axis network cameras, university administrators have restored security to the dorms without compromising the privacy of its residents. Those caught on video leaving doors ajar are held accountable. Mansfield police have even used a video timeline to search archives for possible vandalism suspects. In one instance, the video helped campus personnel identify a student threatening self-harm and prevented a tragic incident.

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