Managing Use Of Private Data on Technology Resources

| No Comments
The University provides important information on understanding, using, and storing private data. Here are some important links all GPS Alliance staff should be aware of, as we are all governed by these policies:

Laptop Users - 

Encryption of your laptop is very important.  This is something the GPS Alliance IT Support Services staff handles in the configuration of your laptop.  However, there have been reports of confiscated laptops upon entering some countries due to encryption.  This makes the situation more complex.

The following are requirements for GPS Alliance which apply to use of your work-assigned laptop or laptop that you use to complete any work activities domestically:

  • Hard Drive Encryption should be applied as you travel between work and home and as you travel domestically.
  • Your communications should be encrypted:  this happens automatically when using 1) UofM Secure wireless (when on or near a UofM Campus) and 2) the UMN VPN software every time you connect wirelessly from a location other than one where you can access "UofM Secure".  This includes your home wireless network provider, if you have one. (This also applies to desktop workstations, servers, etc. if using wireless to connect to the internet for work-related activities).
  • For international travel:  whenever possible, reserve a GPS Alliance laptop or iPad and place on them needed presentations or documents that do not contain private data.  
  • ***If it is required for you to travel with private data, please contact Christopher Stordalen to discuss solutions

Best Practice:
Don't store any private data on your local drive.  Utilize the GPS Alliance Server, Google Apps, or NetFiles as needed and as appropriate for that storage.

Departing staff checklist

| No Comments

If you are a departing GPS Alliance staff member, or if you supervise a staff member who is departing, please use this checklist to help you complete the necessary administrative and technical steps before departing. Note that the procedures differ in a few regards depending upon whether the staff member is leaving the University or just leaving the GPS Alliance.

  1. Notify supervisor and submit resignation letter that includes your last day of work. (Please note that you must be present on the last day of your appointment - you may not use a vacation day as your last day.) 
  2. Discuss with your supervisor how and when you would like other staff to be informed of your departure. 
  3. Give a copy of your resignation letter to Pam Miles.
  4. Go to: for information on COBRA issues, unused vacation and sick leave, other benefits, parking cancellation, e-mail forwarding, and exit interview.
  5. Update address in Onestop so that W-2 can be mailed along with any other information.
  6. Schedule an exit interview with your supervisor.
  7. Computer: Discuss the disposition of all your computer files with your supervisor. Forward relevant files to supervisor and other staff per supervisor's instructions. Remove personal files from the computer.
  8. Unsubscribe to GPS Alliance list serves, or ask the list serve administrator to remove your name.
  9. Change your voicemail message to reflect departure or ask your supervisor what message to include to send callers to someone else for assistance. Leave your voicemail password by your phone and with your supervisor.
  10. Discuss with supervisor how to handle your mail: 
Who should handle your office-related mail? 
Would you like personal mail to be sent to your home address?
  11. Turn in any remaining absence cards and time distribution sheets to Pam Miles.
  12. Clean out your desk, office, and remove any personal items from common areas
  13. Ask your supervisor what to do with files or other work-related materials in your work area.
  14. Turn in keys to your supervisor, including your MKey, and your purchasing card if you have one.

Travel Policies

| No Comments
Traveling on University Business - A comprehensive policy statement on University of Minnesota expectations with regard to staff and faculty travel, including:  reimbursement requests, unallowable expenses, transportation, lodging, meals, etc.

Google Apps Use Required for Email and Calendaring

| No Comments
What:  GPS Alliance full-time staff are required to use the UofM-offered Google Apps for email and calendar needs.  

  • Data Security - The Office of Information Technology, the Office of the General Counsel, and numerous other appropriate offices at the University of Minnesota have worked to provide employees and students with a solution for email and calendaring that will remain both secure and usable.  A legal agreement has been reached between the UofM and Google to provide this service following terms that are appropriate for both.  
  • Cost Savings - Common Good services, such as Google Apps, are provided free to colleges and administrative units in order to secure data while saving money.  Units duplicating email and calendaring systems across the enterprise result in less money to be used to meet the goals of each particular college or administrative unit, with no real benefits.  Money is also saved in support for these systems because both the knowledge as users of the tools and knowledge of support of the tools are common to the entire UofM community.
  • Collaboration - particularly with calendaring services, much time is wasted emailing or calling multiple people to try find a time for everyone to meet.  A unified calendaring system addresses this problem by having a similar format and access to calendars across the enterprise, so scheduling meetings is much easier.
What:  Whenever possible, work-related activities that utilize technology for data access and/or transfer will be done in the following manner:

  • Completed on UofM/GPS Alliance-controlled technology resources and networks.
  • If not possible, use UofM/GPS Alliance-identified means for safe and secure access to, and transfer of, data.  Scenarios include:
    • Working from home - use of the UofM Virtual Private Network (VPN) software is REQUIRED
    • Working on any non-UofM wireless or wired network - use of the UofM Virtual Private Network (VPN) software is REQUIRED
    • Working on a computer over which you have no control to install and/or use the UofM VPN software - general communication is allowed, but do not download or access files that have private data.  Also be aware of data that may include copyright, intellectual property, etc. These types of data should also be avoided.
Why:  The work we all do at the University of Minnesota is important.  That work may include access to and transfer of data that is protected for numerous reasons.  Unsecured data or data transfer practices are very serious issues that require many hours by many people and many dollars spent to address in a way that both secures the data being used and provides a means for employees to complete their work with the least amount of hinderance.
  • Print the date range in the upper right. The dates should be starting Monday to ending Sunday.
  • Make sure you include your employee ID. That's the seven-digit number found on your U Card.

  • Print the date range across the top. The dates should be starting Monday to ending Sunday.
  • Make sure you include your employee ID. That's the seven-digit number found on your U Card.

Follow up to OIP All-Staff Meeting--Aug. 31, 2010

| No Comments
You can download a copy of the slideshow here (slideshow_all_staff_mtg.pdf) that was presented at the all-staff meeting on August 31, 2010. It covers an overview of the strategic plan to date and the announcement of the new name for OIP.

Meredith will attend each unit's staff meeting in the next few weeks to discuss the strategic plan with you in further detail and answer your questions. Please review the information in the slideshow and bring your questions or concerns to this meeting. If you have a question that you think can't wait until the staff meeting, please discuss with your unit director or email to

The unit directors will be meeting on Sept. 9th to go over all of the "deliverables" or action items provided by the cornerstone committees to identify and clarify our priorities. Once the priorities have been selected, this information will be shared across OIP.

A timeline and some guidelines for using the new name will be provided soon. While it is not a secret, please don't start using the new name or sharing it widely at this point to avoid confusion.

Record Retention

| No Comments
UofM Records Retention Schedule can be found HERE

Managing University Records and Information policy can be found HERE

Illness Emergency Contingency Planning

| No Comments
Please see information for planning for widespread absence at the University by referring to this article.