This policy applies to all aspects of university digital file storage, regardless of the location from which information is accessed (on- or off-campus) or the device used to access that information (University- or personally-owned).
All University information should be stored on ITS file storage solutions, such as OneDrive for Business, SharePoint, Teams, or a network drive (i.e., U: or V: Drive). All ITS file storage solutions are secure and backed up automatically, so there is no need for individuals to back up their own work.
Always exercise care when making decisions about where to save data. University information should never be stored only on a local drive or an external storage device (e.g., flash drives, CDs or DVDs, PC and memory cards, or external hard drives). University information should never be stored in any non-ITS supported third-party cloud solution (e.g., Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc.).
Using an ITS-supported file storage solution assures that information is always secured and managed by the University. Additionally, storing information in these locations significantly increases the likelihood of recovery in case of loss or damage. Please note that despite best-effort attempts, ITS may be unable to recover information stored only on a local drive or external storage device. Similarly, ITS is typically unable to access or recover files stored in non-ITS support third-party cloud solutions.
ITS backs up data on all servers it manages daily unless noted otherwise within specific services. For example, servers dedicated to high-performance, high-throughput research may observe different standards. Backups are retained for a period of three weeks. This assures ITS is able to restore services running on those servers with minimal loss of information in the event of a disaster. A file that is stored on any ITS server will remain there indefinitely unless it is deleted by a user or removed when a user account is closed. Files deleted accidentally can usually be recovered for faculty/staff if a request is made within 21 days after the file was deleted. However, a file that is created, saved and deleted in a single day before the backup process runs cannot be recovered.
The backup and retention portion of this policy was established with the assistance of the Office of the President, Office of the Provost and University Counsel. Its purpose is to protect University information while complying with national and state laws and mandates pertaining to e-discovery, data, and file retention.
Adopted: February 2008
Last Revised: June 2021
Need more help? Contact the ITS Service Desk.