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EMERGENCY SUPPORT POLICY

This document outlines Information Technology Services policies and procedures regarding routine and emergency support. The document is divided into three sections, each dealing with a different level of support: routine hardware failures, unexpected service interruptions, and official campus closings. True emergencies are defined, the appropriate reporting procedures outlined, and the anticipated response indicated. In addition, the Director-On-Call program is described and essential services and personnel are identified.

For the purpose of this document, holidays refer to the dates listed on the official college holiday schedule (Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, winter holidays, and Memorial Day). Normal office hours are defined as the official college office hours:

Regular Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Summer Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Routine Hardware Failures

The most common "emergency" reported to Information Technology Services is a broken personal computer, printer, or telephone. Although a hardware failure may seem an emergency to the user, it is a routine repair handled only during normal office hours. Examples of a routine hardware failure include, but are not limited to, a crashed disk drive, malfunctioning printer, broken keyboard or mouse, lack of video output, non-booting microcomputer, or memory error.

Routine hardware failures should be reported to the User Support Center at extension 4487. A technician will be dispatched to repair college-owned hardware on a first-come-first-served basis during normal office hours.


Unexpected Service Interruptions

An unexpected service interruption is a break in service of a multi-user computing or communication system. Examples of an unexpected service interruption include a telephone outage (no dialtone), the administrative data system being down, or a Novell file server being down. (The current status of the College's Novell servers is displayed on the Server Status web page.)

Service interruptions can be reported to the following offices depending on the type of interruption and time of day:

  • During normal office hours, report computer and network service interruptions to the ITS User Support Center at extension 4487. Telephone service interruptions should also be reported to the User Support Center.

  • During evening and weekend hours, report all unexpected service interruptions to Campus Police at extension 2490.

    Exception: Students who experience problems with computers in the student resource centers should contact the consultant on duty.

The office receiving the report will contact the appropriate Information Technology Services staff member to investigate the service interruption.

  • During normal office hours, restoration of service will be made in a timely manner consistent with the college's maintenance contracts.

  • Outside normal office hours, the ITS Director-On-Call (see below) will be contacted. Depending on the severity of the service interruption, as determined by the Director-On-Call, action may be taken immediately to begin repairs or the repair may be scheduled for the next business day. For efficiency, troubleshooting will be conducted remotely as often as possible. If necessary, Information Technology Services staff will be dispatched on-site.


Director-On-Call


There are six directors in Information Technology Services: the Vice President for Information Technology, the Director of Administrative Technology, the Director of Desktop Technology Services, the Director of Educational Technology Services, the Director of Systems and Network Services, and the Director of User Support. These directors will share the responsibility for emergency response.

The six directors will rotate acting as the Director-On-Call for a period of one week. A schedule will be provided to Public Safety. When an unexpected service interruption, fire, flood, or other natural disaster is reported outside normal office hours, Public Safety should be notified. Public Safety will contact the Director-On-Call who will be provided a beeper and cellular phone for emergency communications. S/he will assess the situation and take appropriate action.

It is inappropriate to contact the Director-On-Call for routine hardware failures.


Official Campus Closings and Holidays

Occasionally, the opening of the campus is delayed or the campus is closed due to severe weather conditions or natural disasters. During these closings and on college holidays, Information Technology Services' response to emergencies will be limited to essential ITS services by essential personnel.

Essential Services. Essential services are defined as those services provided by Information Technology Services that (1) protect the strategic information technology assets of the institution, and (2) provide information services to essential processes. Protecting assets has priority over essential processes. In other words, essential services may be curtailed if necessary to guarantee the security of strategic assets. The strategic information technology assets of Smith College are:

  • Campus-wide data network
  • Telecommunications system
  • Administrative minicomputer system
  • Academic minicomputer cluster
  • Novell file servers
  • Academic computer resource centers
  • Administrative applications software systems

The services provided by Information Technology Services that meet the essential criteria are listed below. They assume that internal college deadlines will be postponed during an emergency. Consequently, only those administrative processes that have external deadlines are defined as essential. Failure to meet these deadlines may result in fines or other sanctions against the college.

  • Campus-wide data network
  • Telephone (dial tone)
  • Jessie and Eunice (RADS and Payroll file servers)
  • Mission critical administrative application software
  • Payroll and related processes
  • Quarterly state wage reporting
  • Annual 1099 reporting
  • Annual W2 reporting
  • Annual 1099R's reporting
  • Annual state wage reporting
  • Federal SSA reporting
  • State SSA reporting
  • Other emergency processes designated by the President

During campus closings and natural disasters, academic computing services are non-essential. The resource centers will be closed and access to academic minicomputer and network resources may not be available.

During emergencies, the telephone system is the primary and most appropriate means of communication. Consequently, PhoneMail, electronic mail, on-line campus News, and the Smith World Wide Web site are not essential services and should not be relied upon for timely communications.

Essential Personnel. To provide the essential services outlined above, the following staff positions are defined as essential Information Technology Services' personnel. As such, these individuals are responsible to monitor and maintain essential services during campus closings and natural disasters. Whenever possible, monitoring and maintenance will be performed remotely. However, these individuals are expected to come to campus if necessary to provide essential services.

  • Executive Director
  • Director of Administrative Technology
  • Director of Educational Technology Services
  • Director of Systems and Network Services
  • Director of User Support Services
  • Senior Systems Administrator
  • Novell Systems Administrator
  • Unix Systems Administrator
  • UNIX/VAX Systems Administrator
  • Telecommunications Manager
  • Four Programmer/Analysts in the Information Systems Group

All members of the Information Technology Services staff may be called upon to assist in maintaining essential services if their expertise is required. ITS staff members providing services outside normal office hours will be compensated according to College policy.

 


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Copyright © 2014 Smith College  |  Last updated February 26, 2014

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