Computing Policies

Bren School Computing Policy

This document sets forth the policies that govern the responsible and conscientious use of the Bren network and computing facilities (―computing facilities‖ are all Bren maintained resources and include computers, servers, storage, and network services). This policy was generated in consultation with faculty, staff and students by the Bren Computing Committee. Use of the computing facilities at Bren requires the acceptance of the terms set forth in this policy. Although this policy does not attempt to address all legal issues related to use of Bren computing facilities, all users are expected to adhere to all applicable Bren, University of California, local, state, and Federal laws and policies.

The Compute Team and the Manager of Information Systems will interpret and enforce these policies on a day-to-day basis. Users may submit questions, comments and/or issues to the Computing Committee for clarification of policy or to propose a policy change. Persons found to be in violation of this policy may have their account suspended while the Computing Committee considers the appropriate response for the offense.

The guiding principle of this policy is that the primary function of the computing facilities at Bren is to provide support for the school’s educational and research objectives; other uses should be incidental (and are prohibited if illegal or proscribed by campus policy). Within that context, we strive to (a) minimize users’ negative impacts on one another and (b) cost-effectively ensure that the facilities are fully operational as much as possible.


User Privileges and Responsibilities

Accounts – A Bren School computer account is required to access to the Bren computing facilities. Incoming MESM students will be assigned accounts as a group, and new faculty and staff will be provided accounts when they arrive. All other users need to fill out a ―computer access request form‖ (CARF), available at Users who are not Bren School faculty, staff or students (e.g., researchers, visitors, students from other departments) require a faculty or staff sponsor.

Account security - Users are responsible for maintaining their log-in information in a manner which keeps it private and secure. If a user feels that their log-in been compromised he/she must inform the compute team as soon as possible so that a new log-in can be issued to prevent potential security breaches. Log-ins are not to be shared.

Software – The School provides a standard suite of scientific, educational, and productivity software on all School-owned hardware. Much of this software is under educational license, and shall not be used to do work for outside parties or for individual or party financial gain. Any additional software installed on dedicated user systems (see below) must be licensed.

Computer Labs – The computer labs (GIS and SCF) are used as classrooms for Bren courses, and at other times are the primary workspaces for MESM students pursuing their coursework. The labs are open use, but utilization of resources should not impact others’ abilities to use the facilities for coursework. Computers will be configured to the Bren default configuration to insure updates are executed successfully and to maintain the ability to resolve issues in a timely manner. Labs will be unlocked during business hours and available nights, weekends and holidays to users possessing proper security credentials. Occasionally, when labs are used for classes and workshops they will not be open for general use. We expect that students will have utmost respect for people and property throughout Bren and will conduct their activities in a professional manner and with a high degree of integrity. Food and drinks in spill-proof containers are allowed in the SCF, as long as trash is disposed of and nothing is spilled on the computers. Historically, students have designated the GIS lab as the especially quiet lab.

Dedicated User Systems - Users who have dedicated computers (i.e., computers outside the computer labs that are primarily used by one individual or work team) should coordinate with the Compute Team for system purchases that meet current School configuration guidelines. Because dedicated systems often require software or hardware not included in the default configuration, the user may choose to have setup and maintenance provided in one of the following two manners:

1. The system will be managed by the Compute Team and all software and hardware installation and maintenance will be provided on an as needed basis. Should there be an issue that the compute team cannot easily resolve the system will be returned to the default configuration and any system specific software will be re-installed by the Compute Team.

2. The system will be provided to the user with the default configuration and administrative access will be granted to the user. The user will be responsible for software installation and will provide the compute team with the appropriate license information for auditing purposes. Should there be an issue that the compute team cannot easily resolve the system will be returned to the default configuration and the user will be responsible for installation of non-standard software and hardware.

Systems that are out of warranty and/or highly specialized systems will be given lower priority for repair relative to other parts of the Bren computing environment. Items that have been determined by users as being no longer of use due to age, malfunction, etc., may be given to the compute team for re-purposing or recycling.

Network Access – For security reasons, the School provides two networks within Bren Hall. The ―Bren network‖ is directly provided only to those systems that are managed by the Compute Team. All other systems (e.g., portable devices, hardware maintained by individual users) should connect to the ―restricted network‖ which provides for both wired and wireless connections. Users shall consult the Compute Team prior to attaching a device to a network port. The restricted network will provide you access as if you were connecting from home and users will not directly have access to items such as their home directories or printers. Connecting to a Bren terminal server will provide access to these services. Users shall not attempt to disguise their identity or the identity of the Bren systems. Use of the network shall not adversely disrupt other users or computers from normal network operations. The network shall not be used for unlawful communications of any kind:

Disk Storage - User data is stored on networked disks and is accessible from any computer on the Bren networks. User data is backed up regularly, but we cannot absolutely guarantee that user data will not be somehow compromised or destroyed. This shared data space should not be used to store substantial amounts of personal data (such as media files). The Compute Team will make every effort to have data storage accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Email - Bren email accounts are provided for Bren related communication and not for personal email use. Bren email accounts shall not be used to falsely represent the Bren School or for mass communication of unsolicited email. The compute team can forward your Bren email to another email address of your choice. Please see the UC email policy for a complete overview of acceptable email use while attending Bren:

Mailing Lists - Email lists will be provided for Bren-related communications only. Lists for extracurricular items should be created via a non-Bren service. There is one exception to this policy: the Bren 'random' email list is provided as an un-moderated form of opt-in communication. The Bren school does not monitor or condone the content of 'random' list messages. However, users should not use profanity or post emails that are disrespectful to others in the Bren Community.

Printing - Printers are a shared resource—please be considerate to your fellow users’ printing needs. Large print jobs should be printed at a printing service such as Kinko’s or the Alternative Copy Shop. Bren printers must be used with Bren provided supplies; third party paper, transparencies, or similar specialty papers are not to be used as they violate our warranty and service contracts.

Privacy of Others - Bren users should maintain and use data that protects other people’s privacy at all time. Special care should be taken where data resulting from testing or sampling on human subjects is involved. Electronic representations of other’s personal information items are never stored on-line (including but not limited to social security numbers and credit card numbers).

File Sharing - The computing facilities at Bren shall not be used for file sharing of materials which violate campus policy. We encourage you to become familiar with the copyright guidelines and law as well as with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that also governs our campus:

Copyrighted Materials - Possession and storage of copyrighted materials shall be used be in aid to the school's educational and research objectives. It is the responsibility of the user to be in compliance with the copyright of all material stored on or disseminated via the Bren computing facilities.

Personal Use - Some amount of personal use is to be expected while using the Bren computing facilities (e.g., listening to music while studying, incidental personal email). This use shall be permitted as long as it does not impact other users’ abilities to fulfill functions related to the school's educational and research mission.


Compute Team Services and Responsibilities

In support of the computing facilities and the computing privileges extended to Bren users the Compute Team strives to provide ongoing maintenance and technical expertise for the services provided in a timely manner year round.

The preferred method of communicating technical problems or questions to the Compute Team is via an email to "". Sending email to the request tracking system logs your question into their database and enables all Compute Team members to see the question and route the question or problem to the individual who can best resolve it. This method also allows the team to see trends in types and frequency of issues and provides knowledge base of issues and resolutions which helps them to provide timely and accurate service. Users may also stop by Bren Hall 3045 or call at 893-7794.

Questions/issues will be handled on a first in, first out basis. However, items that impact a large number of users or are time sensitive will be given precedence.

The Compute Team tries to respond to requests the same business day. If you feel your request has been overlooked or you have not had a response to your request within two business days please contact them again since occasionally requests are overlooked when there is high demand.

Have more questions? Submit a request


Please sign in to leave a comment.
Powered by Zendesk