From an IT perspective, there is a cost associated with every user account. When a new user account is set up within the IT resources of the department, there are many hidden costs associated with that account:
- Maintenance costs for software licensing not covered by the University.
- Person hours cost to monitor, update, and maintain data associated with the account.
- Risks associated with the account as a target for hackers.
In order to avoid bearing costs for accounts that are no longer in-use, this guideline explains when an EOAS account is decommissioned and explains what options a community member has to maintain a presence in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences after he/she departs.
Where does this guideline apply?
The department maintains several systems that share and exchange user data. This guideline applies to the mail system and the directory -- this guidelines does not apply to data stored in the my.eos.ubc.ca portal or other systems. This guideline does not apply to records kept by Human Resources or the University of British Columbia.
Maintaining a Relationship
There is an important benefit to EOAS community members to maintain a relationship with the department after departure; there is also a benefit to the department to maintain contact with people who have moved on to other parts of their career. The most obvious method to maintain contact with someone is through email, and so this guideline explains how the department can maintain the presence of someone who has left by maintaining his/her email address without any additional cost to maintain licensing after the person leaves.
The majority of cases where someone leaves the department is through normal retirement or when someone leaves to pursue other aspects of his/her career. In this case, a request will come from the department's Human Resources Manager or a representative to decommision an individual's account. When someone notificates the department that he/she will be leaving, at that point the person can request that his/her email address be maintained as a contact, and email coming to that address will be forwarded to an external account.
There are several reasons for an unforeseen departure:
- Termination with cause
- Unexpected death
In case of an unforeseen departure, the first priority of the department will be to follow all provincial, federal, and UBC policies that apply to privacy of information. Where possible, a legal representative may request that someone's email account be set up to forward to an external address, however supporting legal documents must be provided and kept on record.
Historical User Account
At the current time when this guideline was authored, there are roughly 500 to 1,000 user accounts that seem to be unused within the system -- this is based on the fact that many of these accounts show no record of ever being accessed or used. Given the recent migration from the old system to the new environment, it is expected that a number of accounts moved would no longer be in use.
To address how to terminate these old accounts, the following policy will be applied:
- An account that is not used for logon for 12 months will be flagged as deactivated preventing access, but maintaing an email presence.
- An account that has been flagged as deactivated for a period of 12 months will be flagged as disabled, which removes the email account.
- An account that has been flagged as disabled for a period of 12 months will be permanently removed from the system.