CENTER FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SERVICES POLICIES & PROCEDURES
Under the leadership of the Chief Information Officer
(CIO), CITS is responsible for ensuring the sufficiency of technology and
technology infrastructure to support the mission and vision of the university.
This encompasses maintenance of existing technology including upgrade strategy,
institution of standards and best practices, assurance of security, reliability
and disaster recovery across platforms and sound long-range technology
The policies and procedures in this manual govern and
apply to all access to and/or use of information technology at Alcorn State
University including students, faculty, staff, alumni, agencies, vendors,
contractors and consultants. Any attempt to violate, undermine, circumvent or
otherwise subvert the letter and spirit of the policies and procedures in this
document will be subject to the appropriate consequences.
To ensure state-of-the-art technology that provides
reliable, secure, functional and easily accessible information resources and related
services that empower our students, faculty and staff by focusing on customer
needs and innovation.
HOURS OF OPERATION
CITS services are available during the following hours
of operation: Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Friday from
8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The ATSC Lab is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.
until 8 p.m.
The hours of operation are subject to change. For
issues that arise outside normal hours of operation, please leave a request for
service via voice mail at ext. 6182 or send email to email@example.com. Requests will be processed in the order in which
they are received.
LOCAL ADMINISTRATIVE RIGHTS FOR END USERS
CITS does not extend local workstation administrative rights
to end-users by default. This policy is intended to support the goal of
ensuring the highest level of security, stability and usability for all
computers on the ASU network. Computers set up by CITS for use on the Alcorn
network are equipped with a standard configuration that is flexible and
functional enough for normal day-to-day operations but secure enough to prevent
inadvertent security attacks or reduced performance.
If a user needs to obtain additional software or access a
resource which requires local administrative rights, he or she should contact
the CITS Help Desk for assistance.
In some instances, he or she may be granted local
administrative rights to his or her workstation but only after demonstrating
sufficient technical competence and a compelling reason. Administrative rights may be revoked at
the discretion of appropriate CITS personnel if it is determined that
administrative rights have been misused or granted in error.
Contact the CITS Help Desk at (601) 877-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request administrative access.
CITS provides access to a number of
software applications necessary for the University to carry out its mission.
For the purposes of this document, access refers to acquiring, installing and
supporting applications deemed mission critical to the University and
applications requested by individual administrative units or academic
Alcorn State University is committed to respecting copyright
and intellectual property laws; therefore, any software installed on University
inventoried computers must be properly licensed. Any student, faculty or staff
that uses University technology resources to receive, obtain, install or allow
to be installed on a University-owned computer improperly licensed (pirated)
software shall be in violation of this policy and subject to disciplinary
actions as prescribed by the Acceptable Use Policy and/or official actions
deemed appropriate by the University administration up to and including
criminal investigation and prosecution.
The list of supported software is revised periodically and
available on the CITS website (www.alcorn.edu/CITS).
OFFICIALLY SUPPORTED SOFTWARE
Officially supported software refers to software
applications acquired and installed by CITS for campus-wide distribution.
Examples include the Banner ERP software or Microsoft productivity software
CITS is exclusively responsible for maintaining
current licensing agreements and, as appropriate, vendor/developer maintenance
contracts in support of these titles. CITS provides configuration and usability
guidance as well as troubleshooting and problem resolution for these
applications. In addition, CITS coordinates user training for officially
In order to ensure compliance with software metering
policies, software must be installed through the www.Alcorn.edu domain. CITS is
responsible for applying all updates and patches to officially supported
software in a timely manner. Unless otherwise noted, CITS will support the
latest two versions of designated officially supported software.
PARTIALLY SUPPORTED SOFTWARE
Partially supported software refers to software
applications which are used for a limited purpose or specific audience.
Examples of this kind of software might include SPSS or Monarch. CITS may
acquire the license for these titles or they may be acquired through the
requesting department’s budget. CITS Help Desk support is limited to the
trouble-free installation and proper function of the application itself, not
usability issues. Users of partially supported software are expected to have
other resources to assist with learning and using the software package. CITS
may provide limited, “best effort” support as time permits.
Unauthorized software refers to software which serves no
justifiable business need and/or which potentially negatively impacts the
performance, efficiency or security of the employee, computer or network. This
may also include access to certain websites or plug-ins needed to access these
websites. Examples of unauthorized software or websites include P2P file
sharing applications such as Ares, Morpheus or Limewire, improperly licensed
software, software update tools or download managers.
Users are encouraged to consult the CITS Help Desk at (601)
877-2487 or email@example.com before installing or accessing questionable software
applications or websites.
APPROPRIATE USE POLICY (AUP)
This policy governs the use of computers, computer-based
networks and related equipment administered by Alcorn State University. The
intent of this policy is to allow maximum freedom of use consistent with state
and federal law, IHL/University policy and a productive work environment.
All individuals who need or desire to access the ASU
computing and networking facilities must sign an Appropriate Use Policy (AUP),
which outlines in detail the principles; expectations and consequences
associated using these resources. A copy of the AUP in its entirety is
available on the CITS website or by contacting the Help Desk at (601) 877-2487
CITS may also provide temporary access accounts as needed for
consultants or vendors who need this access to perform services for the
CITS RIGHT OF EXAMINATION
By signing the AUP, the user acknowledges that CITS system or
network personnel are duly authorized, under the direction of CITS management,
to examine user files and activities if necessary. No guarantee of complete
privacy is made. CITS management reserves the right to stop any process,
restrict any individual’s use, inspect, copy, remove or otherwise alter any
data, file, or system resource that may undermine or adversely affect the
overall performance or integrity of the computing and networking facilities.
CITS system and network administrators have taken reasonable
precautions to ensure that potentially offensive materials do not reside on
local facilities; however, CITS is not responsible for materials on remote
sites. Individuals are cautioned to exercise judgment in accessing such
Contact the CITS Help Desk at (601) 877-2487 or firstname.lastname@example.org to report suspected misuse of the appropriate use
This policy establishes the standards for
the usage of wireless communication devices by the employees of Alcorn State
Employees may not directly or indirectly
use, or allow the use of ASU property of any kind, including property leased to
ASU, for other than officially approved activity. In addition, all employees
shall protect and conserve ASU property including wireless communications
equipment. Wireless communications equipment includes:
- Cellular phones
- Personal digital assistant devices
- Standard and two-way pagers
- Similar devices that perform some or all of
Employees are hereby notified that ASU will
enforce this policy through a variety of methods and may monitor use of
wireless communications equipment to assure compliance.
devices shall be used for legitimate state business only. Use of an
ASU-provided cellular phone for personal calls will result in appropriate
disciplinary action and/or the loss of the use of the phone.
Before a wireless
communication device is provided to an ASU employee, the departmental director
must certify in writing the need for the device and associated service. Each
employee is responsible for working with his or her supervisor to determine the
most cost-effective communication device and/or service for a given role.
Employees are required
- Know and understand
the details of the wireless communication service plan utilized by that
employee including unit costs and any monthly service caps.
- Review and certify
billings for the device and service utilized.
- Assess the need for
any change in usage patterns and/or plans based on actual utilization and cost.
- Verify billing details
monthly and indicate by signature that the billing is correct, that all calls
were work-related and that the calling plan is still appropriate to the
employee’s business needs.
Employees must be
aware that cellular phone calling plans are selected based on the projected
number of minutes required for the employee to conduct official business.
Package minute plans are not to be construed as free minutes and are not
provided for personal use.
Detailed call billing
must be provided for all ASU cellular phone accounts, and all billings are
considered public records subject to disclosure under the Mississippi Public
Records Act. ASU shall not reimburse employees for any charges on personal
wireless communication devices.
Employees should be
aware that cellular phone transmissions are not secure transmissions.
Confidential information regarding official business should be transmitted from
a secure environment.
INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADE
It is the goal of CITS to provide a robust technology
environment with optimal features, functionality, security, redundancy and minimal
downtime. It is necessary to perform maintenance and/or upgrade functions
periodically, which may impact the end user's ability to access or operate one
or more systems. Whenever these outages become necessary, CITS personnel work
diligently to schedule them at times when system usage is lowest. CITS also
provides as much advance notice to the user community and those who will be
affected by the outage as possible. When possible, information about benefits
of the maintenance or upgrade is also provided.
HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE STANDARDS
CITS will provide support for standardized, campus-wide
hardware and software. The list of approved hardware and software is updated
regularly and can be found at the CITS webpage at www.alcorn.edu/CITS. Please review these guidelines:
- To ensure software
license compliance, CITS will not install any software without proof of
purchase or a copy of a license agreement.
- When purchasing
computer hardware, please refer to the current hardware standards document and
select from the pre-approved list whenever possible.
- All non-standard
hardware and software purchase requests must be accompanied by a letter of
justification and must be approved by the CIO.
CITS offers consultation and assistance with
hardware/software purchases. Limited support for non-standard equipment and
software is also available, depending on the availability of technical
Occasionally, CITS must quickly respond to a security
threat, hardware malfunction or other unforeseeable situation, which threaten
the security or stability of systems. Such situations are evaluated case by
case, and necessary measures are taken. Whenever possible, users will be
notified of the emergency status and given an approximate time to expect
service to be restored. Following the outage, an explanation of the problem and
resolution may be made available on the CITS website.
Alcorn State University uses the SungardHE Banner
software as its ERP solution for administrative computing. Access to this
software is granted as needed based on an employee’s role at the University.
Temporary assignments or special scenarios are evaluated on a case-by-case
basis. Students are not assigned credentials to access the baseline Banner
The team leader is responsible for ensuring that each
person who is granted Banner access is fully aware of the FERPA and HIPPA
regulations that govern access to and confidentiality of information in Banner.
Current team leaders and contact information can be found on the CITS website
or by contacting the Director of Administrative Technologies.
BANNER SYSTEM ACCESS
The Director of Administrative Technologies is
responsible for assigning and revoking access to the Banner system based on
established criteria and for resetting self-set passwords as needed. Each of
the five Banner systems (Student, Finance, Financial Aid, Human Resources and
Advancement) has a team leader whose responsibilities include requesting access
for new users of the Banner system. It is the responsibility of the team leader
requesting the access to ensure the employees gain only the access needed for
their role or job responsibility. The team leader makes the request to the
Director of Administrative Technologies who then creates the accounts with the
appropriate access and returns the credentials to the team leader for
It is also the team leader’s responsibility to inform
the Director of Administrative Technologies when a person on his or her team
needs different access due to a change in roles at the University.
For example, an employee in the Registrar’s Office
accepts a position in Advancement. The Student team leader must communicate to
the Director of Administrative Technologies that the employee no longer needs
access to the student forms and the Advancement team leader must let the
Director of Administrative Technologies know what access is needed for the new
In the event an employee is terminated, the Office of
Human Resources communicates directly with the Director of Administrative
Technologies to remove Banner access for the employee.
Some Banner systems have internal levels of security,
which are controlled within the software; specific team members are responsible
for maintaining those security features but may request support or assistance
from CITS if needed.
CITS Help Desk at (601) 877-2487 or email@example.com for questions about password safety or for
instructions on how to change a password.
BANNER PATCHES AND UPGRADES
Pertinent major and minor releases of SungardHE Banner
application will be conducted in an orderly and timely manner. In the event
Banner users need a patch or upgrade implemented before the scheduled time,
such users should communicate this situation to the appropriate Banner team
leader. Every effort will be made to accommodate user requests for
application-specific patches as long as the patches do not negatively impact
the operation of other users.
CITS has developed a number of custom applications.
Some enhance and extend the capabilities of the Banner suite of products,
others are stand-alone applications and others still are custom integrations,
which allow separate applications to communicate and share data.
The development of such customized applications is
based in part on a demonstrated need for new functionality to make current
processes more efficient and to have more resources available to build,
implement and maintain the new application.
End users may submit a request for application
development through the Banner team structure, if appropriate, or directly to
the Director of Infrastructure for a feasibility review. If the proposal is
accepted, a response will be generated within 2 weeks regarding the specifics
necessary for completion.
BACKUP AND DISASTER RECOVERY
As part of the University’s overall disaster recovery plan,
CITS also maintains a comprehensive disaster recovery plan for IT systems. The
plan for system backup and recovery is a critical function of disaster
CITS requires that all enterprise information stored
electronically in computerized form be backed up on a routine basis to ensure
its safety in the event of a severe hardware or software interruption, virus
attack or other disaster. All operating software and application software
necessary to access, recreate or generate the information is also backed up. A
strict schedule of system backup is documented and maintained in CITS.
LOCAL BACKUP PROTOCOL
CITS performs backups of critical systems daily between 2
a.m., and 4 a.m. During this backup process, many of the applications need to
be offline to carry out comprehensive backups. Banner, Blackboard, Voyager,
etc. are examples of systems where a daily backup is done. These applications
cannot be accessed during this time.
Maintenance of Alcorn’s public facing website(s)
requires a collaborative effort between CITS, University Relations and
authorized content mangers. CITS is responsible for maintaining the technical
environment to support the website(s) (i.e. web and media servers, content
management system, web development, etc.). CITS is also responsible for
developing appropriate web interfaces for internal web-based applications.
University Relations oversees policy and direction
related to the accuracy, integrity and effectiveness of website content.
Authorized content managers are responsible for maintaining the content on
their respective site(s). CITS provides assistance and training for content
managers assigned to maintain web content for their department or unit.
CITS is also responsible for maintaining the web
server, including installation or upgrade of software, development of web
templates for websites and applications and special requests and development of
new functionality or integrations.
CITS will be proactive in seeking feedback through
follow-up calls after a service request has been completed and through periodic
online surveys. The University community is encouraged to provide feedback
regarding the Help Desk services at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telecommunications is the CITS unit, which handles the
VOIP phone system and employee cell phone services. Telecommunication service
for the VOIP phone system (office phones) includes installation, repair,
billing, directory services, and long distance access codes.
Cell phone service includes initial setup and ordering
of the phone. All cell phones must be used to conduct University business only.
Employees issued a University cell phone must sign and comply with the state
TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE AUTHORIZATION
The Center for Information Technology must be
contacted if you need to add, change or discontinue any of the following
- Telephone/Cellular connection
- Telephone/Cellular equipment transfer
- Telephone/Cellular upgrade
- Telephone/Cellular services
- Addition/Removal of fax lines
- Telephone and voice mail features
LONG DISTANCE CODES
Employees have access to unlimited local calling only;
the department head or supervisor must approve requests for long distance
access. Employees are responsible for all long distance calls from their phone
Telephone invoices are sent on a monthly basis to the
departmental budget managers for business calls verification and signatures.
Departments are individually billed for local calling and long distance
CITS employees may be permitted to work remotely at
the sole discretion of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) based on need and
established guidelines and conditions for such work. Employees must report to
office during normal (or assigned) University working hours unless the CIO
gives official authorization in advance. In addition, employees authorized to
work remotely must report to the office if directed to do so.
If a telecommuting employee’s work performance is not
acceptable, the CIO may pursue the disciplinary process or decide to require
the employee to work in the University office setting. If the telecommuting
employee does not return on the expected date, this will be deemed a voluntary
resignation and will be treated as such under University policies and procedures.
An employee must request permission
from the CIO to work remotely. The
employee making the request must read, complete and sign a detailed policy
statement and a Self-Certification Safety Checklist.
Telecommuting employees will not be
reimbursed for costs associated with working at home (e.g., electrical, heating
and cooling, insurance, security, internet service, etc.) Employees will be
permitted to check out University equipment such as computers, printers, etc.
to facilitate completion of their work assignment. Equipment checked out for
this purpose must be immediately returned at the end of the telecommuting
assignment, termination of employment or upon request of the University.
The telecommuting employee is
responsible for determining any income tax implications of maintain a home
office area. The University will not provide tax guidance nor will the
University assume any additional tax liabilities on a telecommuting employee’s
behalf. Telecommuting employees are encouraged to consult with a qualified tax
professional to discuss these implications.
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