Skip to main content

Managing logins and affiliations with UNC-CH.

A PID (Person IDentifier) is a 9-digit number issued by UNC-CH to uniquely identify a person in their administrative systems. It is printed on the UNC One Card. Everyone at UNC Hospitals has a UNC-CH PID, though they may not know it, because the parking system uses it for payroll deductions. The UNC PID Office (, 919-962-9561) manages PIDs, including the merging of PIDs when a person has managed to get more than one.

An Onyen (Only name you’ll ever need) is a login id issued by UNC-CH to people who have a relationship with the University (student, faculty, staff, affiliate), UNC General Administration (staff, affiliate), or UNC Hospitals (staff). An Onyen is used to authenticate to UNC-CH systems and services, and also allows access to electronic
library resources such as PubMed, JSTOR and others via the UNC Single Sign-On (SSO) service. An Onyen is required to get some services, such as a UNC-CH Exchange email account.

An affiliation (or role) defines a person’s relationship(s) to the University. Affiliations are managed in an Identity Management system, which gets affiliation information from a number of administrative systems of record from UNC-CH, UNC-GA and UNC-HCS. You must have an affiliation to get an Onyen and to get access to library resources and a number of UNC-CH systems. Some systems limit access to certain types of affiliation. The most likely cause for problems getting access to systems is missing or incorrect affiliation information. The ITS Identity Management team at UNC-CH is the place to start resolving any problems with affiliations. The solution usually involves updating information in an HR, Student or Affiliate system, which then sends it to the Identity Management system. Submit a Remedy help request at to get started and ask for the request to be routed to the Identity Management group.

When a person changes their relationship with the University from a student to an employee, their PID does not change. The student affiliation is removed from their record in the Identity Management system after graduation and an employee affiliation is created when they complete the hiring process. Sometimes, the administrative systems (HR, student) do not have sufficient identifying information about a person to match them to an existing PID and accidentally create a second PID. When that happens, the new affiliation is not correctly connected to a person’s Onyen, because the two pieces of information are linked to two separate identities. The solution is to undergo a PID merge process, which moves all affiliation and Onyen information to one of the two PIDs and invalidates the other. The PID merge process usually takes a day or two to complete, depending on how many administrative systems have to be updated.