University Policy Office
USE, ACQUISITION AND SUPPORT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Approval: Approved by the President on April 30, 2008
Authority: Board of Governors Policy 1.2.040
Responsibility: Chief Information Officer
IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS REGARDING THESE REGULATIONS, PLEASE CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION SERVICES.
As information technology continues to increase in scope, complexity, and dependency on its use, requirements for its support increase as well. As the University of Central Missouri provides support for information technology efficiently and effectively, some consistency of products and processes is necessary. To effectively accomplish this, a balance must be struck between standardization and the functional requirements of individual departments, especially academic departments with their broad spectrum of needs.
Technology products and processes are used at UCM in one of two environments: the Production/Operation environment, or the Research and Development environment. The Production/Operation environment encompasses the services UCM provides for its students, faculty, staff and other constituents. The Research and Development environment includes products or processes developed as a part of faculty or student research. The following rules apply to information technology to be used in either environment:
Standard information technology products and processes, as designated by the Information Technology Policy Council, should be used when those standard products and processes will perform the necessary function at acceptable performance levels. Under normal circumstances, no standard product will be dropped from support without at least one year's notice to the user community.
B. Technology Purchases
Departments purchasing hardware and software must do so in compliance with instructions published by UCM's Procurement Department.
In all decisions regarding information technology use, the university's ability to support and maintain the proposed technology product or process must be a component of the decision-making criteria before the technology is purchased or developed. Any department or unit procuring information technology products or processes must establish a plan for the on-going support and maintenance of those products or processes, consistent with planned usage (either a production/operation application or a research and development application). If the product or process is to be supported and maintained from the annual technology up-grade budget, the appropriate vice president must approve the use of those up-grade funds for that purpose before the product or process is purchased or developed.
D. Non-Standard Information Technology Products and Processes
- Connected to the Network-: When a department or unit wishes to use non-standard technology products and/or processes which will be connected in some way to the campus network, it will submit a proposal to the Department of Information Services. The Department of Information Services will then evaluate the potential impact that the requested technology will have on the campus network. If that potential impact is expected to be negative, i.e. it will pose a threat to network stability or will create a significant reduction in network performance, then the university director of information services, or designee, will contact the individual or department to discuss alternatives. While alternatives are being discussed, the non-standard product or process will not be connected to the network. If a suitable alternative cannot be found, the university director of information services will provide a written rationale to the individual or department that explains the potential problems and the reasons for denying their request.
- Not Connected to the Network- When a department or unit wishes to use non-standard technology products and/or processes which will not be connected to the campus network, it will contact the Department of Information Services before implementation if the department or unit expects the Department of Information Services to provide support. If there is no expectation of support from the Department of Information Services, the department or unit using non-standard technology products or processes need not contact the Department of Information Services.
- The Department of Information Services will not restrict the technology choices of academic departments; however, the Department of Information Services may not support every non-standard technology utilized in every academic department. Support of standard information technology products and processes will be a higher priority for the Department of Information Services than support of non-standard technology products and processes.
E. Technology Development
If a non-academic department or unit is considering independently developing a non-standard technology product or process to deliver a service to students or the public, directly or indirectly (in the production/operation environment), the Department of Information Services must be contacted before development begins. The Department of Information Services will evaluate the product or process to ensure that it is supportable for the period of time it is expected to be in use. Before development begins, the department considering the new product or process will prepare an analysis of the costs and benefits expected from the custom technology product or process. The Department of Information Services will prepare a separate evaluation and a recommendation regarding the proposed product or process. The departmental analysis and the evaluation/recommendation from the Department of Information Services will be presented to the appropriate vice president. Development will proceed only with approval from the vice president.
If an academic department or unit is considering independently developing a non-standard technology product or process, the Department of Information Services will be available for consultation. However, if the developing department or unit does not consult with the Department of Information Services before development and implementation of the product or process, then the Department of Information Services will not be expected to provide support to that product or process.
F. Time Period
In all cases of non-standard technology use, approval will be given for a defined time period consistent with the support plan. Projects which have received approval as pilot/experimental projects will not automatically be put into operation at the end of the defined time period of the pilot/experiment.
Departments or units may petition the Department of Information Services to be held exempt from the above rules. In deliberating the request, the Department of Information Services will consider the relevancy of the technology to the campus, the impact that the technology will have on the campus infrastructure, and the impact that the technology will have on services provided to students, faculty, staff and other university constituents. If a department or unit is denied an exemption, and wishes to appeal the decision of the Department of Information Services, the appeal will be heard by the Information Technology Policy Council. The decision of the Information Technology Policy Council will be final.
H. Official Communication
The University of Central Missouri provides a university e-mail account for every student, faculty member and staff member. The university realizes cost savings, improved efficiency and greater security for official communication by utilizing these e-mail accounts. The university considers communications sent to faculty, staff and student e-mail accounts to be official and hold exactly the same status and importance as paper documents. The uUniversity expects faculty, staff and students to check their e-mail accounts regularly for official communications.