Departmental Policies

Table of Contents

Remote Access of Computers by ECS Staff

All of the Mac and PC desktop computers within the school have been equipped with remote control software that allows Eastman Computing Services (ECS) staff to connect to and control the computers via the network. When connected to a remote computer in this fashion, we can view the contents of the screen and control the keyboard and mouse cursor as if we were sitting at the computer ourselves.

The remote control software allows us to troubleshoot problems and assist faculty/staff members with problems without having to travel to their office. We will only connect to remote computers in certain situations:

  • When we are on the phone with the faculty/staff member.
  • When the faculty/staff member is in our office.
  • When we need to access the computer to log a user off prior to server maintenance.
  • When we have maintenance to perform on the computer.

An icon on the screen (in the Windows system tray or the OS X menu bar) indicates when the computer is being viewed and/or controlled remotely.

Computer Ownership and Location

Any computing hardware and software provided to Eastman faculty and staff members is considered property of the Eastman School. Computing resources are provided to Eastman faculty and staff members as tools to assist them with their work responsibilities. Any computing equipment that is provided to a faculty/staff member (other than laptop computers) is expected to remain in the room where it was installed.

Documentation and software that are provided along with the computers at the time of delivery are considered part of the system and should remain in the same location as the computer hardware.

Software Licensing

Desktop and laptop computers provided by Eastman Computing Services come equipped with a standard set of licensed software. Any additional commercial software must be purchased by individual departments.

Our department abides by software licensing agreements and will not install unlicensed or illegally copied software. We will not install a licensed copy of a program on multiple computers unless such a situation is approved in the license.

Hardware Requests

Please make hardware requests as early in the year as possible via email. The Eastman Computing department has standardized on a five-year replacement cycle for faculty and staff computers. We have made an effort to provide networked printers to workgroups throughout the school and each faculty office is equipped with either a color inkjet or black & white laser printer.

Personal Computer Support

We provide the following services for faculty/staff personal computers: installation of the University Cisco VPN client, remote access to network drives, assistance with UR Wireless, and installation of Sophos Anti-Virus. For students we will install antivirus software, assist with UR Wireless issues, and reset email passwords.

Questions about personal computer hardware and software should be directed to their original manufacturer and/or vendor. Questions about problems with Internet connectivity at home should be directed to your Internet Service Provider (i.e. Time Warner or Earthlink.)

We recommend the use of Outlook Web Access for checking your Eastman email account from home.

Software Installation

Software installation is handled by Eastman Computing Services.

There are a great many programs available online which purport to provide some entertainment (games, screensavers, etc.) or useful function (time synchronizing, weather reports, web form filling, etc.) but are really “spyware” or “adware”, that is, software designed to collect information about the individual and their habits or to display advertisements above and beyond those commonly found on web sites. In addition to these intended functions, many such programs are not very stable and can impair the proper functioning of other programs of the computer in general.

In some cases, there is no need to install such programs because the functionality can already be found on the School computer.

  • There is no need for time synchronizing software, our computers are configured to keep synchronized automatically (if you find that a clock is off, please let us know).
  • Installing software to block web pop-up ads is not necessary. On Macs, we recommend web browsing with Safari or Firefox, which have a built-in pop-up blocking feature. On Windows, we recommend web browsing with Mozilla Firefox which is installed on every school computer and also has a built-in pop-up blocking features (found in the Tools menu). We do not enable these features by default because some legitimate sites depend on pop-up functionality (notably the University’s Outlook Web Access) and it is difficult to surmise that pop-up blocking is the problem in those cases. Internet Explorer also features pop-up blocking functionality but because of its continued security problems we do not recommend using Internet Explorer except when necessary.

The School recognizes that the computer is not only a tool for work but also a tool for personal and professional development and a tool for communications. It is assumed that all employees will use their time and resources in a reasonable and professional manner and this assumption extends to the use of the computers. For staff, managers are primarily responsible for determining what constitutes “reasonable and professional” for a position. ECS staff are not concerned with the use of software they are asked to install, only with its affect on computer security and stability, and will not typically ask for a manager’s approval before installing a program. Faculty are naturally expected to be more mindful of their own conduct but ECS staff concern for security and stability do not differ when it comes to faculty operated computers.

Possessing software licenses for commercial software is the responsibility of the employee when it is not for departmental or school business. Typically this means a copy must be purchased for each computer but in some cases certain software publishers allow it to be installed in two places when both installations cannot be used at the same time (i.e. home & office).

Personal Computers on the School Network

Eastman provides the UR Wireless network that may be accessed by any faculty, staff, or student with a wireless-equipped laptop. Please see our UR Wireless @ ESM page for further information.

The use of personal computers on the Eastman wireless network is not permitted.

Email Usage

Eastman email addresses are provided to all faculty and staff members. It is expected that Eastman faculty and staff will use their @esm.rochester.edu email address to communicate with their colleagues within the school. The school incurs a cost to establish each account and the accounts should be used when representing the school.

We do not provide an option for automatically forwarding email to other addresses. We do not recommend attempting to use mail rules or filters to redirect or forward incoming email as they can be unreliable.

Accessing Email From Off Campus

Outlook Web Access (OWA) is the only supported method for accessing your @esm.rochester.edu email account from off campus, unless you have a school-provided laptop. We have created a guide to accessing OWA.

Faculty and staff members who use school-provided laptops are able to use their normal Outlook or Entourage email clients from off-campus. We recommend establishing a VPN connection prior to running these email clients from a remote location.

Password Policies

Information on password complexity and expiration requirements may be found at the Passwords section of our website.

Computer Shutdown Policy

Computers should be shutdown at the end of each day to help conserve energy. Desktop computers are automatically powered on in the morning to ensure any necessary software updates are installed.

We create nightly backups of users’ data that is stored on the network H drive which can fail for certain files if those files have been left open by a user that has remained logged in. Logging out ensures that all of your data will be backed up successfully.

Logging out of your computer is also the only way to ensure the safety of your files and information; if you don’t log out of your computer, anyone with physical access to your computer can access your files.

Data Backups

Our department creates periodic backups of important data. The H: (personal data), M: (Main Hall), S: (departmental) network drives are backed up on a nightly basis.

In the event that a file or folder is accidentally deleted, please contact Computing Services staff as soon as possible to arrange for the restoration of the file. Please be ready to provide at least the filename(s) of the deleted file(s) and their location or path if possible. Recovery requests must be made no later than five weeks after the file was deleted.

Computer Sales and Recycling

The Computing Services department has an annual computer sale in which computers that were replaced that year due to the four-year replacement cycle are sold at greatly reduced rates to members of the Eastman community. Equipment that is no longer useful will be recycled. Please note that we do not accept personal items for recycling and you will need to make your own arrangements for such situations.

If you have personal equipment that you would like recycled, you may want to consider one of the following options.

  • Maven Technologies, LLC
    1144 Lexington Ave.
    Rochester, NY 14606
    (585) 458-2460 ext. 239
  • Rochester Computer Recycling & Recovery, LLC
    7318 Victor Mendon Road
    Victor, NY 14564
    (585) 924-3840

Quotas

Quotas for network drives are per-user and apply to any files that you have ownership on the server. For example, if you copy a file from your H drive to the S drive, each copy of the file will count against your quota limit.

Eastman email accounts also have a 500 megabyte quota that limits the amount of space you can use on the email server. Please view our tutorial on how to check how much space you have used within Microsoft Outlook.

Student Workers

Departments who wish to provide computer access to their student workers may request the creation of a “departmental student” account to be shared by their student workers. There should be a staff member who sets the password for these accounts and monitors their usage. These “departmental student” accounts are the one exception to our policy of not sharing passwords among multiple people.