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Introduction

The College of Architecture - Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to providing members of the College with reliable technology in stable operating condition. In an effort to appropriately address the needs of the faculty and staff of the College of Architecture, ITS provides, on a per-request basis, Local Administrator Accounts for individual machines.

Levels of Access

There are two security access levels to a University owned computer: User and Administrator.

  • User - Allows a great deal of powers to perform normal daily functions. The user access level will generally assure the highest level of stability for your computer.
  • Administrator - Allows the client to have complete and unrestricted access level rights on their individual workstations. This includes the ability to install any hardware or software, edit the registry, manage the default access accounts, and change file level permissions.

    Manipulating most administrator-only options may cause serious stability issues with your system and if abused, may result in the cancellation of administrator access.

Information Technology Policy for Administrative Privileges for Personal Workstation(s)

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1. GENERAL
1.1. The nature of certain software in conjunction with the need for expeditious resolution to
specific projects and problems has emphasized the need for members of the College of
Architecture to be able to do certain activities on their local computers that have
previously been reserved for system administrators.
1.2. While it is the preferred method to have Information Technology Services (ITS) install
the software in a timely manner, ITS is fully aware that at times that may not be a viable
solution.
1.3. The purpose of this document is to define responsibilities, delegation, support, and
potential consequences in the granting of local administrative rights to individuals.
2. RESPONSIBILITIES
2.1. The assumption of local administrative rights on a University computer carries certain
inherent responsibilities. Care must be taken due to the potential loss of data,
compliance with copyright laws, and potential threat of compromise.
2.2. College of Architecture members who are granted administrative rights should be aware
that they would become fully and solely responsible for any data that is stored locally on
the computer they are administering and as such must exercise due diligence in
providing a backup mechanism to ensure against the potential loss of any data. Failure
to implement a backup mechanism can result in permanent loss of any and all data.
2.3. College of Architecture members who are granted administrative rights should be aware
of copyright restrictions and licenses placed on ALL software installed on their systems
as well as being aware that there exists severe criminal and civil penalties for noncompliance.
2.4. College of Architecture members who are granted administrative rights should be aware
that they will assume full responsibility for maintaining up-to-date anti-virus software installed
on the systems they manage. Furthermore, College of Architecture members
who are granted administrative rights should be aware that something as seemingly
benign as opening an email or visiting a web page has the potential to infect and
compromise a computer.
3. DELEGATION
3.1. It is the understanding of the ITS that in certain circumstances, a professor or staff
member may not have the sufficient amount of time to properly administer the systems
themselves, for instance in the case of specialty labs.
3.2. In such circumstances where the faculty or staff member is unable to personally manage
the systems, authority may be delegated to another member of the faculty’s team, with
the following constraints:
3.2.1. The team member must be directly involved in the project or lab they will be
administering.
3.2.2. The faculty member delegating this authority is ultimately responsible for the
actions of any person that has been delegated this authority.
4. SUPPORT
4.1. The unrestrictive nature of administrative accounts carries the potential to encounter
unexpected and adverse consequences. Problems encountered are further complicated
by the immense volume and variety of software, and it is thus impossible for an
operation of any size to have a complete knowledge of it all, and therefore we may be
unable to provide assistance.
4.2. Resolution to problems encountered by members who have local administrative rights
will be limited to the following three solutions:
4.2.1. ITS will devote a maximum amount of time and effort NOT to exceed one hour of
labor and resources.
4.2.2. Should the problem not be resolved within that allotted time, ITS will offer to reimage
the system to the configuration level the system had when it was
ORIGINALLY given to the faculty or staff member. The implications of this are
as follows:
4.2.2.1. ITS is not responsible for any data on the system. It is the individual who
assumes administrative privileges that is responsible for data as stated in
section 2.2 above.
4.2.2.2. ITS will not be responsible for any software installed on the system after
administrative privileges were granted.
4.2.3. Should the problem not be resolved within that allotted time, ITS will be available
to recommend outside sources to assist in the resolution of the problem. Any fees
associated or incurred by these outside sources will be the sole responsibility of
the person possessing administrative rights to that particular machine.
5. CONSEQUENCES
5.1. The degrees of impact associated with administrative privileges are widely varied and can
range from a simple error with a simple solution to catastrophic results impacting the entire
College of Architecture.
5.2. Data that is not properly archived is at risk or being irretrievably lost, regardless of its
significance or importance.
5.3. As mentioned in section 2.3 above, severe criminal and civil exist for improperly licensed
software. Please refer to appendix B, System Regulation 21.99.10, and appendix C,
University Rule 21.99.10M1, for further documentation regarding software licensing in the
Texas A&M University System.
5.4. Depending on the severity of compromise, CIS has the ability to remove network
connectivity to the compromised host or TO THE ENTIRE COLLEGE and has previously
established precedence in this regard.

System Regulation

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21.99.10 Use of Licensed Commercial Software
April 24, 1996
Revised September 30, 1998
1. GENERAL
1.1 Commercial computer software is protected by federal copyright laws. Only
appropriately licensed software may be placed on System computing resources and/or
used by System employees in the conduct of System business. The purpose of this
regulation is to define the responsibilities of System employees with regard to the use
of computer software protected under the Copyright Act.
1.2 Users of computer software are warned by various means against the illegal use of
such software. Labels appear on packaging materials, and in some cases the warning
is displayed on the computer screen when the software is used. System employees are
expected to be familiar with the licenses on the software they use.
1.3 Varying degrees of copyright protection are afforded for different classes of computer
software. Generally these fall into the following categories.
1.3.1 Commercial Software: This is software that is distributed under a strict
licensing agreement. Typically this means that a fee is paid by the purchaser
or licensee. The only legal way to obtain the right to use such software is
through a purchase agreement or license with the owner of the copyright or
with a licensed distributor. Site license agreements are available on some
commercial software, which allow the duplication of software upon payment
of a specific site license fee.
1.3.2 Shareware: Shareware typically refers to software that is available for use on
a trial basis at no cost. A user who decides to continue using the software
must then send a registration fee to the author or distributor of the software.
There is usually a licensing agreement associated with the software and it
usually appears on the screen during the login process.
1.3.3 Public Domain: This type of software is made available with no restrictions
on its distribution or copying. A point of concern is that many users may
assume if there is no copyright notice attached to the software, it is then in
the public domain. Actually, the reverse is true: unless there is a statement
to the effect that the software is in the public domain, the user should assume
the author retains the copyright to the software.
2. PROHIBITED ACTS
2.1 The unauthorized use, copying, or distribution of copyrighted software is a violation
of the U. S. Copyright Act. These illegal acts are commonly referred to as “software
piracy.” Violations include, but are not limited to, the following:
21.99.10: Use of Licensed Commercial Software Page 1 of 2
(1) making extra copies of microcomputer-based software for use on other
microcomputers unless specifically allowed through a licensing agreement;
(2) putting copies on a network so that they may be copied by others;
(3) obtaining copies of software from others without paying the appropriate
licensing fees; and
(4) unauthorized distribution of software by electronic mail.
2.2 It should be noted that some software is licensed so that it is allowable for the user to
make a copy for home use in conjunction with the business use of the software. A
user of licensed software should not assume that this provision is in place but should
check with the licensing agent before making copies for other machines.
3. IMPLEMENTATION
3.1 Chief Executive Officers will implement a component rule and/or procedures to
ensure that all computer software on generally accessible computing resources, on
networks and on individual microcomputers belonging to their respective components
and/or under their control is appropriately licensed. Such procedures should provide
for regular checking of computing resources, including microcomputers, and the
appropriate correction of any violations that may be discovered.
3.2 System employees are to be provided appropriately licensed copies of computer
software necessary to perform their assigned tasks. Employees must not be asked nor
tacitly expected to perform tasks for which appropriately licensed software has not
been provided.
***************
CONTACT FOR INTERPRETATION: The System Office of Information Resources
HISTORY: April 24, 1996
Section 21 Rules
21.99.10: Use of Licensed Commercial Software Page 2 of 2

University Rule

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UNIVERSITY RULE
21.99.10.M1 Software Licensing
Approved May 28, 2005
Revised May 30, 2006
Supplements System Regulation 21.99.10
1. GENERAL
All software installed on University owned or operated computer systems used by
faculty members, staff members, agents, or students in the conduct of University
business must be appropriately licensed. For software having a licensing
agreement, persons installing, or authorizing the installation of software should be
familiar with the terms of the agreement. Where feasible, the licensing agreement
should be maintained in the department that operates the system on which the
software is installed. In cases where this is not feasible, individuals or
organizations should maintain sufficient documentation (e.g., End User License
Agreements, purchase receipts) to validate that the software is appropriately
licensed. No software may be copied or installed by any faculty member, staff
member, agent, or student unless the licensing agreement specifically grants such
a procedure.
For instances in which the department is the owner-custodian or custodian of the
system, the department is responsible for ensuring compliance with this rule.
Each department will be asked to report the status of their compliance as part of
the annual Information Security Assessment, Awareness, and Compliance
(ISAAC) process (refer to Rule 24.99.99.M1).
2. PENALTIES
Non-compliance with copyright laws regarding software is subject to significant
civil and criminal penalties imposed by federal and state laws. These penalties
are applicable to the University and/or an individual. Violation of this rule is
subject to University disciplinary action as well (System Regulation 21.99.10 Use
of Licensed Commercial Software; System Policy 07.01 Ethics Policy, TAMUS
Employees; University Rule 33.04.99.M2 Rules for Responsible Computing).
Contact: Information Technology Issues Management of CIS
Office of Responsibility: Vice President and Associate Provost for Information
Technology
21.99.10.M1 Software Licensing Page 1 of 1

Requesting Administrator Access

By default all members of the Academic Community are granted User access level on their individual workstations. ITS provides administrator access on a requested basis. To request administrator access:

  1. Create a Helpdesk Ticket.
  2. Include that this is an Administrative Account request in the description.
  3. Have the Administrative Privileges for Personal Workstation signed by yourself, your Department Head, and the Executive Associate Dean indicating you understand each of the following policies:
    • Information Technology Policy for Administrative Privileges for Personal Workstation(s)
    • System Regulation (21.99.10 Use of Licensed Commercial Software)
    • University Rule (21.99.10.M1 Software Licensing)
  4. Submit the form to ITS.
    Upon receiving the form, ITS will add an administrative account to the machine(s) requested on the Administrative Privileges for Personal Workstation. Your admin account's username will be your COA username appended with a -x (ex. helpdesk-x)

    A password will be assigned to the account, but must be changed immediately in accordance with the Texas A&M University Password Policy.

    Once the password of the administrator account has be set, the account will be maintained and managed by the account holder. ITS monitors local administrator accounts to ensure privileges are not abused.

    Do not use the administrative account as your primary account. Extended administrator privileges makes it exponentially easier to contract a virus or other form of malware. Use the administrator account for installation of software applications and other functions that require administrative rights. This will help protect your system from potential infections.

    ITS will not be responsible for data on your system. Any data that is stored to the local drive and not your personal storage is your responsibility to backup.

    Administrative Rights End Users will have to complete an ISAAC assessment annually for each machine that the user has requested administrative right for. For instructions on how to complete an ISAAC Assessment, please see our ISAAC page. If you would like more information on ISAAC please visit their website

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