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Campus Information Technology Services

Section: Information Technology
Index: G-3

Policy

The UHV Information Technology (IT) department will establish and maintain technical support services for faculty, staff, students, and office operations in the following areas:

The university will develop standards, security processes, and operations to support each of these areas to meet the needs of the institution, implementing the latest proven technology as funding and manpower permits. The department of Information Technology (IT) is responsible for enacting and enforcing this policy unless otherwise indicated in the procedures.  Each individual school and department are responsible for communicating with IT their technology needs on at least an annual basis to ensure IT is aware of the research, plans and priorities of the university.

IT will be organized in the best way possible based on current staff to provide these services in the most efficient way that benefits the entire University.

Procedures

Administration

Overview:

The CIO will coordinate directly with university executive management ensuring IT is aware of immediate and long-term academic and business needs and goals.  The CIO is responsible for setting the priority of IT services.

Project Planning and Funding:

All projects involving the addition or purchase of physical, locally hosted, or cloud hosted technology or services shall include a representative of IT.  IT may be approached at any time with technology needs or projects by initiating a request through the Help Desk.  Projects shall include a description of the desired outcome, timeline for both desired and needed completion and if IT is being asked to provide resources including infrastructure, servers, software, or funding.  Upon receipt, the CIO will assign an IT manager who will be the primary contact for the requestor.  They will schedule a meeting within one week from when the request was made to verify understanding of the request and create a preliminary list of resources needed to satisfy the request within the desired timeline.  The manager will create a formal IT project charter which may be incorporated into the larger project.

Projects requiring funding beyond what is currently available will be built into the annual budget request process.  IT will invite requesters to join them during the budget hearing to assist with justifying the need for the project.

IT will independently request meetings with representatives of each school during the summer to ensure teaching needs for the next fiscal year are known, understood and, if possible, funded.

All university departments and schools are encouraged to contact IT during the budget hearing preparation process with their technology needs and wants for the next fiscal year.  If no contact is made, IT will request funding based on the needs of the previous year. 

Requests made as part of the normal budget cycle will not be approved unless and until they are fully funded.  It is the responsibility of the departments and schools to make technology needs known to IT well in advance of the desired implementation.

If a request is not funded, the requestor may seek alternate funding.

Network Services

This team will provide a fast, reliable server and network infrastructure providing the latest wired and wireless connectivity as budget and security allows.

This team will provide to System Services, Computer Science and other University departments and schools on an as needed basis, the computer processing hardware and storage needed to fulfill research, teaching and university business requirements.  All project requests including server and network needs shall be made in advance of the need, allowing for sufficient time to perform necessary adjustments or identify funding sources.

The network services provided by Network Services are limited by physical safety, the need to protect UHV data, and the availability of budget and manpower. 

Services provided by the Network Services team include the following:

LAN: Full wired and wireless network based on the latest stable technology and accessible in all buildings providing connectivity to both internal network resources as well as UH and Internet (Cloud) hosted services.  This infrastructure is in place both on the Victoria campus as well as all buildings owned or leased by the University.

WiFi: Network Services provides multiple wireless network environments.

Internet and Wide Area Network (WAN): WAN access is provided through a high-speed data communication link leased through LEARN, the Lonestar Education and Research Network.  This connection provides reliable, high-speed access to UH hosted services and the Internet.

Infrastructure Planning:  A representative from Network Services should be present in all building and renovation projects to ensure the infrastructure needs are understood and part of all stages of planning.

System Services

System Services is responsible for the account lifecycle of all users of university technology resources and provides or manages server based and hosted IT services such as email, file storage and sharing, databases, print services, and other applications.

Server provisioning:  System Services will specify, provision, build and maintain the server infrastructure based on the needs of the University.  This includes ensuring sufficient storage, processing power and other server hardware resources are available and maintained throughout the life of the hardware.

User accounts define and control access to the different services and consist of at least a user ID and a password.  In certain areas, additional multi-factor authentication may be required to complete authentication. Faculty, staff and administrators obtain user ID’s by completing and submitting a UHV Faculty/Staff Account Application to the Application Services email box at AppSrv@uhv.edu.  Student accounts are created by an automated process when the student applies to the university. Accounts are created with password protection to insure access security. Password guidelines and Acceptable Use Policy for Technology Resources (UHV Administrative Policy and Procedure, G-2) are issued with the user ID and password.

IT writes and maintains in-house applications, integrates vendor-hosted and third-party applications, and provides data to various departments.

Backup: System Services performs regular backups of locally hosted supported servers.  Backups are stored both onsite and at a remote location. Per System policy 07.A.06 Email Retention, email is not archived. Backups are retained for no more than twelve (12) weeks.  It is the employee’s responsibility to preserve in their email, IT provided online storage or University provided OneDrive, all files necessary for business continuity for as long as required. Backups are intended for the restoration of servers or systems in the event of a catastrophic failure.

Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) technology supported by UHV (formerly Blackboard).   LMS support includes full time staff dedicated to the management of the UHV portion of the UH hosted Canvas online course development and delivery providing high-level support to school online support techs and the Instructional Designers in the Center for Teaching Innovation as well as managing the communication between UHV and the LMS administrators.

Office 365 Hosted Services provides faculty, staff and student email, cloud-based file storage, web versions of Microsoft Office and other tools.  Employees may see details on the internal IT web site.

User Services

Help Desk Functions

User assistance is provided through the IT Help Desk. The Help Desk is staffed by experienced personnel who are responsible for responding to all calls and logging all activity for each call received. Help Desk assists faculty, staff and students with access and use of technology resources. The Help Desk personnel will respond to calls concerning university owned hardware and software, and provide services for university owned PC’s, peripherals, and networks. Requests for hardware repairs and upgrades to software and/or hardware are to be made by contacting the Help Desk.  Help Desk personnel also assist with the use and installation of optional supported apps on personal mobile devices including Microsoft Office and other O365 apps.

Any request requiring funds beyond IT’s current budget will be deferred until funding is available.

Faculty & Staff Personal Computers and Software

All full-time faculty and staff will be provided with a computer to use for university business. The standard configuration is published on the Computer Hardware website.  Unless an explicit need is documented, employees will receive a Windows based computer.  Full-time faculty and staff have the option of a desktop or a laptop system with USB docking station and the option of either Windows (current Dell model) or Mac O/S (Current Apple model). These computers are maintained by the Help Desk and upgraded on an established replacement cycle determined by the budgeting approval process.  Lab computers will be non-portable PC’s, the exact configuration determined by the needs of the lab in support of faculty teaching, student use or other University business.

IT is only funded for the dedicated computing needs of full-time employees.  Unless otherwise funded, part-time staff will be expected to share computing resources with others in their department.  Requests from visiting, adjunct and other non-permanent faculty for computer hardware may be forwarded to their college’s deans for assistance with funding.

Department heads and college deans make the decisions about which computers in their respective areas are replaced or upgraded.

IT is responsible for providing a standard set of software for all university-owned PC’s. See Policy G-4 Software Management for more information.

Software other than what is shown in the list mentioned above may be used, but only with appropriate licensing. The cost of that software is the responsibility of the requesting department or school unless otherwise negotiated and approved through the budget process. Support of software other than the standard set is the responsibility of the department that made the purchase.

IT is responsible for providing software for the campus computer labs. IT provides funding for the software based on requests received prior to and approved through the budgeting process. Requests outside of this process will be the responsibility of the requesting department.

IT maintains computer hardware standards online on the Computer Specifications page.

Audio/Video Communication Services

IT supplies and/or coordinates voice/telephone services for the University of Houston-Victoria campus. Telephone, Phone Mail and Long-Distance services are provided for staff and faculty for approved UHV usage only. All these services are charged back to the employee's school or department.

IT currently supports ShoreTel for voice communication, voice mail and traditional telephone-based communication.  Additional information regarding voice communication and forms can be found at Telecommunication Services.

IT supports Microsoft Teams for all locations and mobile devices for audio and video communications and conferences.

Academic Services

IT is responsible for providing IT support for student and classroom use. Student support is provided through computer labs located in University Center and the dorms. Two types of labs are provided: teaching labs, for scheduled use by faculty in support of hands-on instruction; and open labs, which provide access for students outside of scheduled class time. Open labs generally are not scheduled, allowing students to have access to computers during operating hours. Software in these labs is the standard software used throughout the campus and may include other software requested by faculty in support of academic programs. For details about lab software, see Standard Lab Software

Classroom technology support is provided through:

IT also provides and supports Interactive Video operations (ITV) for instructional delivery and video conferencing.

Various audiovisual technologies are available and supported. Contact User Services for more details.

Traveling With University Equipment

The Help Desk supports business travel with university equipment and will assist as much as possible with remote troubleshooting.  Employees are responsible for testing and preparing their equipment before travelling.  The Help Desk can assist, including providing a test “off-campus” connection.  Employees are responsible for maintaining the equipment in good working order while traveling.  In the event of damage or theft of university equipment, the Help Desk shall be notified immediately.

Dorm Services

With an emphasis on academic learning, the IT network environment provides high speed Internet access, sufficient for online course work, research and for entertainment purposes.  In-room wired network connections are provided for situations where wireless networks should be avoided such as when taking online tests and for devices not compatible with enterprise wireless network environments.  Network access is scanned for known malware and potential illegal sharing of copyright material.  See UHV Policy G2-Acceptable Use Policy for more information.

A flat screen TV is provided per dorm room or suite for entertainment purposes and may be used with student owned equipment.  Where noted, basic TV service is also provided.  Details of dorm amenities are available at the UHV Housing site.

IT Security

IT Security (ITS) provides campus wide information security, compliance, and risk assessment services.  These include:

Annual Risk Assessment

Each summer, ITS will initiate a Risk Assessment, verifying the location of UHV protected data, the data owner for each area and that proper safeguards are in place.  Areas of concern will be addressed directly with the department or school in a manner that meets the requirements of policy, code, or law in the best way possible for the University.  The assessment will be based specifically on the requirements of FERPA, PCI, TAC 202, UHS SAM 07.A.08 and UHV policy G-1. See Supporting Documents

Vulnerability Assessment

In cooperation with System Services and User Services, ITS will perform scans of the UHV network, actively seeking known and potential vulnerabilities.  These will be reported to the responsible team for immediate review.  Each responsible team will either address or mitigate any known vulnerabilities.  Accepting the risk of a known vulnerabilities requires agreement from the ISO along with documentation that sufficient safeguards have been put in place. 

Incident Response Plan

ITS is responsible for maintaining the UHV Incident Response Plan (IRP) and managing the Incident Response Team (IRT).  ITS will perform a biannual test of the IRP using roundtable exercises.

External Reporting

ITS has multiple reporting responsibilities including:

Biennial DIR report covering maturity level of the ITS program.

Supporting Documents

PCI Compliance

TAC 202

FERPA

SAM 07.A.08

UHV Policy G-1

 

Approved By:

Signature Obtained 10/04/2023
Robert K. Glenn, Ph.D. 
President

Next Review Date: August 2028 (5 years)
Origination: Information Technology