Computing and Information Processing

Approved Administrative Committee 673.5


1. This document describes overall policy concerning all aspects of the development of computing and information processing at the University of Ottawa, including goals, planning, acquisition and implementation.


2. The term "information processing" refers to the use of general purpose computing systems and special purpose systems that process electronic digital data and have the capability of transmitting, receiving or storing such data. The terms "computing" and "information processing" are used interchangeably in this policy and related policies and procedures.


  • 3. a) Terms of reference - Advisory Committee on Computing
  • b) Policy 84 - Computing Centre - Role and Responsibilities
  • c) Procedure 17-1 - Acquisition of Information Processing Equipment, Software and Services
  • d) Procedure 17-2 - Computer Usage - Allocation and Reporting System
  • e) Terms of reference - Advisory Committee on Text Processing Equipment.


4. The prominent and expanding role of information processing in society requires that the University of Ottawa strive to lead and to obtain excellence in all areas of information processing. Information processing is recognized as an essential tool in the University's teaching, research, and administration and as a subject of study in itself.

5. The University must ensure that:

  • a) all students shall have the opportunity to learn to use information processing as appropriate to their academic disciplines;
  • b) research shall have adequate information processing support;
  • c) all administrative units of the University shall have the support of information processing systems where these are cost-effective and appropriate.

6. The development of information processing facilities should proceed in a planned, coordinated and efficient manner. Such development should employ current technology and anticipate future advances and needs.


7. Within its budgetary limitations the University shall allocate adequate funds for personnel, equipment, software, supplies and services to permit the overall achievement of these information processing goals. These funds shall be distributed among the Computing Centre, faculties, schools and services in amounts appropriate to their information processing needs.


8. Responsibility for planning and implementation of these goals is assigned to the Computing Centre, the Advisory Committee on Computing and the Systems Development Service, in consultation with Materials Management Services, the Department of Computer Science and all other faculties, schools and services.

9. The Computing Centre shall plan for, and within the limits of its approved budget, provide general computing equipment and services sufficient for the University's teaching, research and administrative needs, as specified in Policy 84.

10. The Advisory Committee on Computing shall make recommendations to the Administrative Committee and to the Computing Centre about the planning and coordination of information processing equipment and services.

11. The Systems Development Service shall provide planning, advice and systems analysis for the development of administrative information processing systems and services.

12. The Advisory Committee on Text Processing Equipment shall provide planning, advice, and analysis for the development of text processing services. There shall be close liaison between this committee and the Advisory Committee on Computing.

13. Materials Management Services shall be responsible for the processing of purchase orders as specified in the Procedure 17-1 - Purchase or rental of information processing equipment, software and services, and within the provisions of Policy 36.

14. The Department of Computer Science is recognized as being concerned with the study and teaching of computer science and information processing, and hence as having particularly critical academic needs requiring suitable and sufficient information processing equipment, services, and personnel to meet these needs.

15. Increasingly, other Departments and Schools are also being recognized as having components of their academic programs which critically depend upon suitable and sufficient information processing equipment, services and personnel.

16. All faculties, schools and services are expected to consult with and inform the Computing Centre and the Advisory Committee on Computing about their current and future needs for information processing equipment and services, as specified in Policy 84 and Procedures Computing 17-1 and Computing 17-2.


17. No matter which faculty, school or service budget is involved, all computing equipment and software procured through University funds, either by purchase or rental, belong to the University, subject to any conditions specified by the supplier.

18. In cases of necessity, the University may exercise control over such equipment, software, or services through the Computing Centre and not through the faculty, school or service in which they may be located or which provided the funds originally.

19. All computing equipment and software acquired under a research grant becomes the property of the University unless the terms of the grant specifically state otherwise. However, the use of the equipment or software remains under the control of the recipient of the grant for the duration of the research project insofar as this is feasible.


20. Users of the University central computing facilities and other information processing systems belonging to the University have an obligation to promote responsible, ethical, and secure use of the facilities and services.

21. They are responsible for the proper use and security of their own access codes, programs and data files, including maintaining "back-up" copies where required.

22. Users must not jeopardize the proper use of the facilities and services by other authorized users. No user is allowed to access, change or destroy any data files or programs belonging to any other user, or to the University, without explicit authorization from the owner of the data or programs. Users may however use software which has been declared public by the Computing Centre.

23. The Computing Centre is obliged and empowered to take actions necessary to combat and prevent abuse in the use of the facilities and services. The Computing Centre shall publish an approved User Code of Ethics to which all users shall be required to adhere.

24. The University reserves the right to impose academic sanctions (for students) or disciplinary measures (for employees) and/or to revoke a user's access privileges, and/or to pursue legal remedies against anyone abusing the computing facilities and services.

25. The Computing Centre takes all reasonable and cost-effective measures to safeguard users' programs and data. However actions or causes beyond the reasonable control of the Computing Centre may lead to breach of security or loss or destruction of data. Users are therefore urged to safeguard data and to take full advantage of the security mechanisms built into the system, and to change passwords frequently.


26. This policy consolidates and replaces former Policies 51, 67 and 80.


27. No exception may be made to this policy without the written consent of the Administrative Committee.

Published December 1, 1982

(Computing and Communications Services)