TECHNOLOGY ASSET POLICY: COMPUTER SUPPORT
Asset: Any data, device, or other components of the environment that support information-related activities. Assets generally include hardware and software. NYU’s Systems/networks are considered assets, and their safekeeping is the responsibility of the user.
End User: Any community member who requests assistance from Steinhardt Technology Services.
Steinhardt Technology Services: An administrative group that supports technology across NYU Steinhardt.
Steinstorage: Steinhardt’s Windows file server, also known as S Drive. Shared drives are created on the server upon request. Access and administration are controlled by Steinhardt Technology Services. This system is able to store Protected Data, as per NYU’s data classification.
Technician: Steinhardt Technology Services staff members.
This Computer Support policy is for Steinhardt faculty, staff, researchers, doctoral students, and other affiliates, also known as end users. The support services described in this document are aligned with University Policy. The purpose of this document is to outline Steinhardt’s role in administering and supporting these policies.
All University owned desktop and laptop computers purchased through or in coordination with Steinhardt Technology Services (see purchasing policy here) including setup and configuration by technology staff receive full support. Computers purchased without coordination with Steinhardt Technology Services will not receive full support. Every effort is made to respond to all requests for help, but the level of support may be limited for some computers and peripherals, depending on their hardware configuration, software configuration, function, age, or other factors. This service takes a proactive approach and works with departments as well as individual faculty, staff, and doctoral students ensures that the equipment purchased is supportable and, through proper maintenance, continues to function reliably for its expected lifespan.
Support is also provided for University owned printers, smartphones, tablets, and peripheral devices.
The following list describes support categories:
- Procurement: Coordinated purchasing through a University approved vendor
- Configuration: Initial installation and setup of asset
- Deployment: Customization of asset for the user or department
- Support and Maintenance: Software and firmware updates (as needed) and diagnosis and correction of reported problems
- End of life and Replacement: Offboard asset per University Standards
All requests are logged into Steinhardt Technology Services’ helpdesk. Any end user who would like assistance can submit a support request by:
- emailing Steinhardt.Technology@nyu.edu
- visiting https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/technology/
- calling (212) 992 HELP
End users can also visit our office, located at Pless Hall, 3rd floor Room 341, 82 Washington Square East.
The following list describes Steinhardt Technology Services’ method of operation:
- Requests are handled during business hours, Monday through Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
- Once a request is received, a technician will respond to the request either by phone or by email within 4 business hours.
- Requests will be prioritized according to urgency and number of end users affected.
- Potential security threats are given high priority because of their destructive potential and ability to infect other assets.
- If the computer will be out of commission for a day or more, a temporary replacement will be provided.
- When appropriate, a student technician may respond to a help request.
- When appropriate, technicians will utilize remote support to provide quick problem resolution (the end user's permission is required for remote support).
- The end user will be notified via email when the request is considered complete. If the end user indicates that problems still exist or that additional assistance is needed in this matter, the technician will continue working on the problem until both parties are satisfied. If new, unrelated problems have occurred, the user should submit a new request.
WORKING ON CAMPUS
The above support methodology applies to offices and spaces on the New York City Campus.
Steinhardt Technology Services is unable to provide on-site service for computers located off-campus. Employees working from home who encounter computer problems should first call (212) 992-HELP for assistance. This is the speediest route for problems that can be resolved over the phone. If Steinhardt Technology Services cannot fix the problem over the phone, the end user should bring the computer to our office for further troubleshooting, where repairs can be assessed and performed.
Faculty who need a computer during sabbatical should work with their department and Faculty Affairs to obtain one.
WORKING AT A GLOBAL SITE
Faculty or staff traveling to global sites please coordinate with Global Affairs.
DATA STORAGE AND BACKUP OF WORK RELATED DATA
All work related data should be stored on a secure platform such as Steinstorage, NYU Box, or Google Drive as per NYU’s Data Classification Table. It is strongly discouraged to save work-related data on your desktop, laptop, or device.
Steinhardt Technology Services is not responsible for restoring data that is not backed up to one of the Universities provided systems.
The following training is available to all end users:
- iLearn: TEC 106: Tech Savvy - NYU Tools for File Storage and Sharing (online course)
- FERPA Tutorial: https://www.nyu.edu/apr/ferpa.tutorial/
Data whose unauthorized access or loss could seriously or adversely affect NYU, a partner, or the public.
• Social Security Number
• Driver's License Number
• Bank/Financial Account Number
• Credit/Debit Card Number
• Electronic Protected Health Information
• Central Authentication Credentials, when stored in large numbers
• University Financial Data on Central Systems
Data with a less high level of importance, but that should be
protected from general access.
• University Intellectual Property
• University Proprietary Data
• Passport Numbers
• Final Course Grades
• FERPA-covered records
• External Steward Data
• Human Resources Data
All other non-public data not included in the Restricted or Protected classes
• University Identification Number
• Licensed Software
• Other University Owned Non-Public Data
All public data
• General access data, such as that on unauthenticated portions of www.nyu.edu
The use of internet storage services such as Dropbox, iCloud, Carbonite for University data is strongly discouraged and prohibited for confidential, protected, and restricted data.
If an end user request support for a non compliant storage service, the technician will recommend switching to a University approved service.
The University recognizes that its employees may occasionally make personal use of University-owned computers and does not wish to prohibit such use altogether. However, the University will not be responsible for the restoration of non-work related data including music, personal pictures, games, and non-Steinhardt owned software. The University may ask for such data/software to be removed if it is hampering the function of the computer and the ability of the employee to perform his/her job function. In the event the employee gets a new computer or hard drive replacement, the University will not be responsible for the restoration of personal data. It is recommended that personal data be stored elsewhere. The technician who is performing the data transfer or configuration will have discretion in identifying personal data. It is suggested that you move your personal data before the technician arrives. By default, only the user profile will be backed up. Users requiring additional volumes or external drives that contain scholarly data to be backed up must specifically request this from the assigned technician. Please note that music, photographs, and videos used in scholarly work are exempt from this.
Set-up of New Computers: Full support for new equipment includes pre-configuration of all hardware and software to Steinhardt standards and on-site set-up by a technician. The technician will make certain that the new machine is fully functional and that the user can access any resources that are needed to perform job responsibilities. Before removing the old computer, all work-related data from the old machine will be transferred to the new computer. It is recommended to use NYU’s cloud-based services, such as Google drive, NYU Box, or Steinstorage, for data storage. Personal data should be saved elsewhere before a technician arrives.
Service to Existing Computers: A technician will respond to all requests for assistance and evaluate the nature of the problem. Most problems can be corrected on site, including simple hardware replacements, software installation, upgrades, or re-configuration. In more complex cases, the technicians may consult with other technical specialists to fully diagnose the problem and determine if the cause is within the computer or caused by external factors. If extensive or specialized hardware repairs are required or a complete reinstallation of the computer, the machine may be brought to the Steinhardt Technology office for repairs. In such cases, if the computer will be unavailable for more than a day, a temporary replacement will be provided. This will probably not be the same make/model computer and may not have all of the same capabilities, but it will perform the basic functions required for desktop computing (email, internet access, the standard software configuration).
Obsolete Equipment: As computers age, components may fail and it becomes increasingly difficult to find compatible parts for repairs or upgrades. Once they no longer have the ability to run currently supported software, it becomes increasingly impractical to invest time and money in their maintenance. For this reason, equipment beyond a certain age should not be used for any critical function or relied upon to perform acceptably. Technology Services maintains definitions of the minimum configuration that is still supportable by our technicians. If asked to fix equipment that falls below this level, the technician will evaluate the problem and, if easily repaired, will do so. If extensive time or cost will be required, it will be recommended that the department replace the unit with one that meets or exceeds the minimum standards. Once a replacement machine has been designated, it will be re-configured to meet the user’s needs.
A network printer is a printer that is accessible by a network connection, making it usable by other computers connected to the network. Each department should have one networked black and white copier/printer and one networked color printer. Departments that span multiple building floors are entitled to have one of each per floor. Full support is provided for these printers. Departmental staff should be familiar with basic printer operation (i.e. how to power the printer on/off, how to clear a paper jam, etc.). The technicians provide the first level of support for problems with these printers. Before calling for help, the individual should check to see if others are able to print successfully to the printer so it can be determined whether the problem lies with the printer or an individual's computer. If the technician can’t resolve the issue, an outside vendor will be called to make the repairs. If the call is authorized by Technology Services, there will be no charge to the department for these repairs. However, for some older printers, extensive repairs may not be justified and replacement of the printer will be recommended.
We encourage end users to print to networked printers. In the event a personal printer needs to be troubleshooted by Steinhardt Technology Service staff, we will attempt to resolve the issue to the best of our ability.
Desktops shall have a standard keyboard and mouse provided. Any special accommodations that are outside the standard configuration will be coordinated with Steinhardt Technology Services.
OTHER HARDWARE ACCESSORIES
Please see our Technology Asset Policy: Procurement and Purchasing
Research and scientific equipment fall into a special category. In light of the enormous range of specialized devices that can fall into this category, the Technology Services staff may not be trained on the specific type of equipment and can’t guarantee that it can be made to function properly if problems develop. When purchasing specialized equipment, it is essential to consult with Steinhardt Technology Services to determine the level of support that can be provided. In some cases, it will be necessary to arrange for on-site service from the vendor or ensure that the faculty/staff of the department has been trained in its use and support. If the device must connect to any NYU systems or to the campus network, the Steinhardt Technology Services team must always be consulted on compatibility issues, regardless of funding source.
As with hardware, when the software installed on a computer is out of date, servicing it becomes more difficult and time-consuming. Beyond a certain point, technical assistance can no longer be obtained from vendors, compatibility problems arise, and familiarity of the technician with the software diminishes. For this reason, there are also minimum supportability standards for computer operating systems and software.
Steinhardt Technology Services supports all current versions of Microsoft Windows (Windows 7, 8, 10) and Mac OS X (versions 10.13 and higher) operating systems.
In order to comply with software licensing regulations, a technician will install only legally licensed software, freeware, or shareware. Many university licensed software applications are 'keyed'. This means that a system in the data center monitors their usage across campus and only the legal number of users can run the software concurrently.
All Steinhardt computers shall have the following standard software:
Security and Compliance
Symantec Endpoint Protection
MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
Adobe Pro Acrobat DC
Software available by Request
Adobe Create Cloud
Faculty, staff, and researchers should consult Steinhardt Technology Services before purchasing software.
As software companies release newer versions of software, the old versions eventually become obsolete for the following reasons:
- The software vendor no longer offers technical support for problems encountered
- The files or documents created by the software may be in a format no longer recognized by modern software, making them un-sharable
- The original disks from which the software was installed may have been lost and can no longer be replaced
- The software will no longer run under current computer operating systems
Steinhardt Technology Services does not support software that falls into these categories. If a user or department needs assistance with such software, we will recommend a currently supported software package that will perform the required functions and assist the user in making the transition to the new software.
University hardware is on a five-year replacement cycle. Additional policies specific to technology acquisition are covered in Procurement and Purchase Policy.
An important part of this approach is to work with departments to plan for a realistic replacement cycle to eliminate unreliable and obsolete equipment before it becomes a liability.
Steinhardt Technology Services Operational Hours and Contact Information
Mon-Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm | 341 Pless Hall | (212) 992 - HELP | Steinhardt.Technology@nyu.edu