Electronic Access Guidelines

General Guidelines for University of Iowa Staff Related to Reasonable Electronic Access

Intended audience: HR Representatives

Purpose Statement

All staff must be provided reasonable access to UI information from electronic mediums (self serve, operations manual, University email communications, staff development/testing, or other electronic resources available on campus). While subject to operational needs and equipment availability within the departments, departments and their staff are accountable to know the UI information that has been communicated electronically.

These guidelines are meant to clarify the University of Iowa E-mail Address Policy and support the UI Acceptable Use Policy. Please refer to Operations Manual, Part II, Chapter 19.Where employment conditions, or work assignments require it, a supervisor may request that employees be exempt from this requirement. It will be the manager/supervisor's responsibility to ensure that information is copied and posted as appropriate for communication to that group of staff who do not have electronic access. The request, which is to be in writing, must explain:

  • why the employee, classification of employee(s), or workgroup should be exempt
  • how such employees will be kept notified of University administrative mass email communications; e.g., information from University Benefits to a specific list of employees

For the exemption to be granted, the request should go through normal administrative channels, including central Human Resources for staff and the Office of the Provost for faculty.

Considerations

  1. Definition of access: ITS will provide support through departmental representatives and IT leaders on campus for various collegiate areas. They can be helpful in determining key locations or kiosks to serve groups of staff. PC turnover on campus is roughly every 3-4 years, so there are low cost resources available for departments to consider. Cost is assumed to be a departmental responsibility. The department will need to define the level of access. For some departments or kiosk areas it may mean limitation to University of Iowa intranet resources.
  2. Work vs. non-work time: Employees previously have had access to pertinent information in hard copy during pay status provided that normal work activities are not disturbed. The university has now articulated a strong commitment to electronic communication as the means by which employees receive pertinent information. Business (PC use) needs to be work related as defined by the acceptable use policy and with regard for others' access needs. All remain accountable for their productivity. If productivity begins to decline, the manager will address by assessing system issues and instituting individual performance improvement goals as they apply. Central/Collegiate HR representatives are available for consultation related to performance management in their area.
  3. Length of time, travel time, how often: Please reference the Acceptable Use Policy. A guideline under normal conditions for those that do not have day-to-day access to computers as a regular part of their job is 15 minutes/week. If necessary, travel time would need to be determined as appropriate at the department level.
  4. The ability to print is not required.
  5. Content: The content of email messages is governed by the Acceptable Use Policy, (19.4).
  6. Departments are encouraged to have the ability for employees to respond/view messages. As we continue to decrease paper usage all staff will need to have the ability to respond to email as necessary for business operations.
  7. Education/Training: ITS has information regarding access to e-mail. Human Resources has made the front page of Self Service explanatory in nature with the ability to get a password through email if need be. Both of these resources could be posted next to computer terminals and even in various languages as needed at the departmental level. We would recommend consideration of adding worksheets to orientation materials at the department level. The content would provide a reasonable introduction to the systems for use.
  8. There is an expectation that access for those that do not have a designated computer would not create an interruption of others work, please reference 19.4b of Acceptable Use Policy.
  9. Inability to read. If a staff member does not have the ability to read they can request an accommodation and the departmental HR representative will follow up as appropriate.
  10. Union implications: All electronic correspondence needs to be consistent with Acceptable Use. If there are additional questions or concerns you can contact Employee and Labor Relations at 5-0052.