Account Closing Policy

Account Closing Policy

The guidelines in this document will hopefully help departmental account holders to understand the process better and alleviate concerns about the loss of files and disabled access to their CS accounts.

Membership of the CS department is in a constant state of flux: new students, both graduate and undergraduate, arrive and leave. Undergraduate students move in and out of the department when majors change. Recent graduates return as research collaborators. As such, the Lab staff must maintain a constantly changing list of accounts. We try to strike a balance between ease of use for the account holders and the management and resource demands of maintaining the accounts.

It must be remembered that each account incurs resource costs, as well as security risks, and therefore accounts cannot simply be allowed to accumulate without bound.

Account are closed in batches, typically in the spring and fall of the year, as the Lab staff workload permits. The process has been set up to occur in an ordered fashion, with a premium placed on preserving user data. Departmental members whose accounts have been scheduled to expire should take note of the process outlined below.

Prior to closing

  • Users whose accounts are slated for closing will receive automated e-mail messages, once per week, starting approximately 1 month prior to closing.
  • The automated message will notify the user of the grace period, after which access to the account will be disabled. This grace period varies, depending on the type of account.
  • Users are strongly encouraged to consult the account closing checklist, to prepare for the closing of their account.
  • Graduate students may request a 1-year extension, simply by replying to the e-mail. This may be repeated annually for a maximum of 3 years of extensions.
  • Beyond extensions and grace periods as noted above, an account may continue only through CS faculty sponsorship.

After the grace period expires

  • After the grace period expires, access to the account will be disabled and the account will no longer receive e-mail. An automated responder will notify senders that the account has been disabled, and will provide a forwarding address, if one is on file. No files are deleted at this time.
  • Requests for access to the account's contents after the grace period will require some form of authentication. This is necessary to protect the privacy of the users.
  • Account are removed in batches, twice yearly, and are archived prior to removal. You can contact the Lab staff about retrieving files from a deleted account. The CS Lab performs extensive backups, with semi-annual backup sets being retained indefinately.

We hope that this explanation will help to clear up any misconceptions about the account closing process in the CS department. If you have any questions please contact the Lab staff.