Policy - Biochemistry IT & Media Lab

Departmental IT policies regarding proper computer systems use and access.

These policies have been approved by the UW Biochemistry faculty (September 24, 2008) and summarize
the privileges and responsibilities of department faculty, staff and students with regard to common
Information Technology and Media Lab resources. The attached signature page acknowledges you have
received a copy of these policies. Please read these policies, complete the form, and return it to the
department office.

Services Offered


Biochemistry Department users* are granted the use of:

  • File server - access to private and group storage
  • Department-owned software - Adobe Creative Suite, EndNote, etc...
  • Department-owned AV equipment - laptop computers, portable projectors, etc...
  • Network - access to departmental network resources

(*users include: Biochem faculty, their lab groups, entering graduate students, department staff or other
personnel so designated by IT & ML)


Users are granted access to a WiscMail account provided by the University. By default, WiscMail accounts
have a 200MB quota. Biochemistry may increase this quota if justified. All WiscMail accounts are
managed by DoIT and follow their security policies and rules. In some cases the department may offer a
WiscMail Plus account. These accounts are provided at the discretion of the IT group.

File Server

File Server storage is intended for research and academic purposes only. The file server is not intended
for private, non-academic use or as a place to “backup” your computer. For example, system files,
common applications and their installers, cache files and other non-user generated files should not be
backed up to the server. Files not related to academic or research purposes may be removed at any time
without warning. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in denial of file server privileges.
Users are given 20GB of private storage and Labs receive 100GB of group storage by default. Increases
may be allowed if justified. Account access is disabled upon termination. User folders are archived for a
minimum of three months. Lab folders and PI accounts are archived for a minimum of six months. At the
end of this term, lab folders and PI user folders will be permanently deleted. Access may be restored
after archival if needed but cannot be restored after removal. Exceptions may be allowed at IT discretion.
Collaborators may be granted extended or temporary access to the file server as needed. Collaborators
will only have access to group storage and will not be given a user folder. Collaborators must be verified
every three months and IT should be notified immediately when collaborator access is no longer necessary
so access can be removed.

Department-owned AV Equipment

Users have access to IT & ML laptop computers and portable projectors for short-term checkout. Users
must be identified by IT & ML staff, and may be asked for identification. Users are responsible for all
damage (beyond normal wear and tear) that occurs while equipment is checked out.


Computers may be connected to the department network only if they meet basic software and security
guidelines defined by IT. Computers posing any perceived threat to the network infrastructure will be
disconnected from the network until remedied. Antivirus software must be installed, active and up-to-
date on ALL computers connected to the network. DoIT provides antivirus software for free to all students
and staff of the university. File sharing software (such as LimeWire, BitTorrent and other similar P2P
applications) may not be utilized on the Biochemistry network except in instances where it is used for
academic or research purposes.


Data stored on the departmental file server is backed up once a day and retained for a minimum of one
week. IT provides a “best effort” level of restore capability. In most cases files can be quickly restored as
long as IT is contacted while a restore file is still available.

Hard drives of specified (faculty-determined) computers (two per group and up to 200GB total) may be
backed up by the IT using the client backup system. These backups are only intended for disaster
recovery and the services is only provided on a “best effort” basis. Up to 200GB of space is also available
to each PI for Time Machine backups on Mac OS X 10.5 or greater machines. Exceptions may be allowed
at IT discretion. All users are strongly encouraged to store all research related files on the file
server to ensure data integrity.

“We Conserve” Commitment

In support of the campus “We Conserve” program, the Biochemistry Department has developed a
Biochemistry IT Power Conservation Plan that can be found at the end of this document. All computers
used in the Biochemistry Department should be configured to conform to this plan.

Appropriate Use


It is recommended that computers used in the Biochemistry department require a password to login. If a
password is not required to login, no passwords to access Biochemistry owned systems can be
stored/saved on the computer. In addition, any “secure” data may not be stored on the computer.
It is also strongly advised that passwords be required to be entered after screen savers are active, the
computer goes to sleep or any other situation where the user is no longer actively using the computer.
This prevents unauthorized access to departmental resources.

All passwords used in the Biochemistry department must adhere to the UW-Madison Password Policy.

Department-owned Software

Users have access to department-purchased software. Software installation must be requested through
IT & ML. Users may not copy, distribute, or transfer this software in any form. Users are responsible for
removing department-owned software from their personal computers at termination. Users must adhere
to the terms of the license agreement, for example, University licensed Microsoft software can only be
installed on departmentally owned computers.

Computer usage

Computer usage within the Department of Biochemistry is governed by the rules specified in the
University’s (DoIT) Appropriate Use Policy.

Violation of University rules governing appropriate use of IT resources may result in
loss of access privileges, University disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution.

Biochemistry IT Power Conservation Plan

In support of the campus “We Conserve” program, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences is directing
that departments develop and implement a computer power management plan which will contribute to the
campus goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% before 2010.

The Biochemistry Department fully supports this initiative and has developed the following plan to help
reduce our computer related power consumption. Estimates suggest that up to 85% of energy used by
computers occurs when they are idle.

Computer Energy Saving Settings

Power saving features should be activated on all (exceptions below) computers in the department. When
not in use, computers, monitor and other computer related equipment should be turned off; even when a
computer is in sleep mode it is consuming power. Because computers use 60 to 90 watts when active,
activating power management settings can save up to $50 per computer annually.

The Biochemistry Department recommends the following settings:

  • Display Sleep/Standby - 15 minutes
  • Hard Drive - 5 to 10 minutes (if adjustable)
  • Computer Sleep/Standby - 30 minutes

The Biochemistry Department also STRONGLY recommends activating the following features:

  • Screen Saver - 10 minutes (max)
  • Password Lock - Activate any settings that require a password be entered after the screen saver or
    sleep modes are activated.
  • Automatic Software Updates - Software updates should be set to run automatically or be manually run
    on a regular (weekly) basis.


  • Any computer acting as a server. These instances should be very limited as the departmental file
    server should be used.
  • Computers connected to specialized equipment or running specialized software in which the vendor
    requires the power saving settings be disabled. The reason these services can not be activated
    should be provided by the vendor.
  • Situations where activating the power savings settings causes issues with research, teaching or other
    departmental activities. In this instance please contact IT to confirm there is not a better way to
    resolve the issue.
  • Computers that are backed up should be checked to make sure the sleep settings are not interfering
    with scheduled backups.

Other IT Related Devices

Power saving features should be activated on all electronic devices when available. For example, printers,
copiers and other electronic devices should have their power savings features activated. When not in use
electronic devices should be turned off to conserve power.


All electronic equipment should be disposed of properly. In most cases this means items should be
brought to IT and sent through SWAP.

Purchasing Recommendations

Please consider the following suggestions when considering any electronic purchase:

  • Purchase Energy Star compliant devices whenever possible.
  • Consider replacing CRT monitors with LCD monitors. Except in certain instances only LCD or other
    lower energy monitors should be purchased.
  • IT can help when considering computer purchases. Some processors utilize less power than others for
  • Consider that spending a little more for a more power friendly device initially may save a considerable
    amount of money over the life of the equipment.

All members of the Biochemistry Department are required to have a signed, Biochemistry IT & ML Policy
form on file with the Dept. office.

Keywordspolicy, media lab, media, lab, it, information technology, policies, rules, regulation, regulations   Doc ID137071
OwnerMax R.GroupCALS Biochemistry IT
Created2024-05-01 16:16:44Updated2024-06-11 09:48:41
SitesCALS Biochemistry Information Technology
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