New CUNY policy on manual enrollment of users (TAs, Instructors and Students) in Blackboard

Feb. 15, 2023

Starting March 1, 2023, per the University Provost, instructors will no longer be able to manually enroll users in Blackboard courses, in order to be in compliance with FERPA.

Effective March 1, 2023, CIS will remove the ability of INSTRUCTORS to manually add users and assign user roles within courses. Removal of this feature will change how TAs, course observers, students completing incomplete courses, faculty wishing to become familiar with another course, or others are added to Blackboard courses.

CUNY SPH has adopted the following policy:

  1. Instructors, co-instructors and TAs for courses can only be added to courses through CUNYfirst. This process is managed by the Registrar. They will be automatically added to the Blackboard course with assigned roles through CUNYfirst.
    1. Note: If a class has multiple instructors assigned, CUNYfirst already feeds that to Blackboard. Changes are processed overnight and reflect in Blackboard the following day.
    2. To manually add a TA or Instructor for whatever reason, Human Resources and the Department would need to provide their name and CUNYfirst ID/EMPLID to the Registrar. Blackboard Administrators will no longer be allowed to manually add TAs, instructors, co-instructors, guest lecturers, etc.
  2. To facilitate familiarity with a previous course (for a new professor), the department administrator or Chair should email to request a Master copy of the previous course to be created, and that new instructor be added. The EMPLID of the new professor MUST be included in the request; adding individuals by name or another means is not allowed.
    1. Please note, permission to share that content/intellectual property should be obtained from the course creator prior to this request. The school owns copyright for many courses that were developed for the online programs. Check with Laura to determine if the school owns the copyright for the course materials you want to access.
  3. To add course observers, the Department administrator should provide a list of these requests (along with the course IDs, instructor and observer EMPLIDs, start and end date of observation) to and
    1. Please note: course observers will be added as a “student” in Blackboard. This is the only instance in which we can add a “student” while bypassing CUNYfirst (and the registrar).
  4. Students wishing to audit a course should submit a Course Audit Request Form.
    1. Faculty and/or staff wishing to audit a course can be added by the department administrator. Please email with your EMPLID and permission from the facilitating instructor.

If you have any questions about this policy change, please feel free to reach out to