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University Technology Services

Access-UTS Systems

Complete Policy Title:

Access to UTS Systems Policy

Policy Number:

Approved by:

Learning Technology Committee (LTC)

Date of Most Recent Approval:

February, 1997

Revision Date(s):

Sept 1991, Nov 1994, May 1994, August 1993, Feb 1997, August 1998, August 2000, Nov 2002, July 2003

Position Responsible for Developing
and Maintaining the Policy:

Director, CIS

Contact Department:

Computing and Information Services

DISCLAIMER: If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.

Relative to the following account types, a customer identifier is issued subject to individual accountability for all computer processing done on that account. All McMaster University computer account holders are expected to use the University computing and networking facilities in accordance with the McMaster Code of Conduct and applicable University policies. McMaster University's computing systems and networks are provided to support authorized research, instruction, administration and other intellectual pursuits consistent with McMaster University's goals and objectives. Use of these services indicates your agreement to be bound by the terms and conditions described in this document and the policies referred to herein. 

1. General Access Computing
All faculty, staff and students (graduate and undergraduate) are eligible for a general access computer account, an enhanced modem pool account and a proxy server account. They are validated by their McMaster employee or student card. In the case of temporary employees, the application form must include an expiry date and the supervisor's signature.

A general access computing account with minimal resource limits, permits free use of general services including e-mail, proxy server access to off-campus Internet sources, etc. Fee for service printing, modem accounts and lab login accounts are also available.

Graduate and undergraduate student accounts must be renewed annually. If the account is not renewed before October 15, the account is deleted .

Faculty and staff accounts are deleted when they leave the university or when there is 13 months of non use.  Accounts with a .forward may be viewed as inactive and deleted. Temporary accounts are deleted on the expiry date. It is up to the customer to ensure the accounts are renewed.

Customer identifiers (eg. Email ids, enhanced modem pool ids) are created upon request with proper identification or by self registration where that service is available.  The same id will be used for each of the various UTS administered systems including NT server access where applicable. Customer identifiers for students are generated automatically using lastname, initials and random number if required for uniqueness. These identifiers cannot be changed. All ids conform to the Senate Policy regarding privacy, passed on March 8, 1995.

Normally one account per employee is allocated. In certain instances, and if there are resources available, generic accounts can be sponsored by a permanent employee. Generic account identifiers use the first three letters to denote the department or position, e.g. UTSxxxx, avpxxxx. Generic accounts have expiry dates of no longer than one year. 

A general access customer identifier is used for identification and to hold usage information for fee for service printing, enhanced modem pool usage and resource budgeting reports. If resources are required beyond those usually permitted under general access computing, a University account number or a voucher purchased at Titles or, to charge the computing resources, is required. Voucher money is added to the account and is non refundable and non transferable.

Most password resets for these accounts are done in person with the presentation of a valid employee/student card.  Employee accounts other than email may have passwords reset upon receipt of an email request from the employee's valid University email account.

The customer identifiers for permanent full time employees are listed in central electronic directories.

General access computing facilities are supported from the operating budget of UTS. Services such as the enhanced modem pool are supported by billing the customers for use.

2. Research Computing (academic environment)
UTS no longer provides accounts for research. Research computing has been distributed and UTS now supports this through such things as administering site licenses for some software products. 

3. Administrative Computing (administrative environment)
Customer identifiers are created upon request from an individual, who has management approval, for an access profile sufficient only to their administrative working needs. The same policies apply to confidentiality of computer data as apply to information provided on paper. Users of administrative systems are required to complete and return an "Employee Acknowledgement of Confidentiality and Computing Access" available at The Board of Governor's "Guidelines on Access to Information and Protection of Privacy" policy is available at

Customer identifiers are withdrawn upon notification of expiry of the administrative working need for which an access profile is granted. This will arise with the termination or transfer of a university employee, or at the request of the individual, or of management. 

Computing resource limits are sufficient to accommodate reasonable use of any UTS supported application or query. Resources may be limited or charged in the context of end user computing if such controls will be to the common good.

Administrative computing facilities are supported from the operating budget of UTS.

4. Retirees of McMaster University
In December, 1996, the Joint Committee approved that "All retired faculty should have access to an email account on the same terms as active faculty. Like the mail box or library card, the email account is to be used for University or academic business. The account may be accessed from University computers or by modem." These are set up upon request from the retired faculty member. This also includes a modem pool and proxy account.

In March 2002 an agreement was reached to provide staff retirees with email, modem and proxy accounts.

These accounts are granted for a renewable term of 5 years at which time they must be renewed. The accounts are for the retirees exclusive individual use.

Retirees email ids are part of UTS generated directories such as the CSO phonebook.

5. Guest Accounts for Educational Purposes

  1. SPONSORED guest accounts may be obtained for university related activities of the guest if sponsored by a permanent faculty or staff member. These accounts will be active for a designated time not to exceed one year. University related activities would include a MSU recognized group with a faculty/departmental advisor taking responsibility; staff on the priority hiring list; university sponsored/supported conferences with a definite expiry date and a faculty/departmental advisor taking responsibility; research colleagues with formal ties to McMaster, such as a visiting professor. This service is provided free of charge. It is the responsibility of the account holder to renew the account before the expiry date. 
  2. UNSPONSORED guest accounts for faculty, staff or graduate students from other institutions (e.g. to allow them to telnet to their home institution) may be requested through a written request from the Director of Computer Services at the home institution which must include an expiry date. This request should be addressed to the Director, UTS, McMaster University and should state the reason an account is needed. It is expected that the person would have an email account at their home institution so only an enhanced modem account is required. 
  3. There may be special cases which can be added subject to approval of the AVP/Administration. 
  4. Temporary accounts may be set up for use during conferences, short courses, workshops, camps, etc. The accounts will be active for a designated time and the customer identifier will be set up by UTS using "zz" as the first two digits. These must be sponsored by a McMaster permanent employee. In some cases there is a charge for setting up these accounts. 
  5. Special use accounts such as accounts for lab access for use by instructors can be arranged upon request.   

    These accounts will be granted subject to the following conditions: 

    • resource availability 
    • access is via the enhanced modem pool 
    • for people on campus with a valid McMaster University id, the communication software is available via the Software Depot. Due to software licencing restrictions, most software is not available to anyone except current employees or students at the University. 
    • there is no UTS support for these customers, except where the support relates to academic pursuits 
    • active for a designated time period not to exceed one year

6. Alumni Accounts
Customers who are not part of the previous categories, but are graduates of McMaster University can apply for an email account which includes a modem pool account. These accounts are subject to the same conditions as in 6 and there is an associated fee for the service.  Alumni can also apply for continued use of the id through University Adancement. This is not an actual account but will route email sent to this id to your preferred id.

7. Commercial Entities located on the McMaster campus
Commercial entities located on the McMaster campus are eligible for an email account based on the following conditions: 

  • the company must be located on campus 
  • the account must be sponsored by a permanent faculty or staff member 
  • these accounts will be active for a designated time not to exceed one year 
  • the account and network is ONLY to be used for purposes relating to McMaster University 
  • there is a fee for this service 

Other relevant policies and terms and conditions:

The electronic copy of this policy is maintained by UTS.

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