Computing Account Procedures for Faculty, Staff and Guests

Authority: Issued by the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology
History: First issued in 1993; updated last 10/06/2016
Scope: NC State faculty and staff

Description of service  

All NC State faculty and staff automatically receive university computing accounts. At a minimum, faculty and staff receive Unity computing account privileges, which provide access to many university computing resources. Valid NC State Unity credentials are required to access password-protected online services and resources.

Account privileges include:

  • Access to MyPack Portal including Human Resources self-service features and the Student Information System
  • Access to campus high-speed wired and wireless data networks
  • G Suite (Google) email and calendaring services or Unity email service)
  • Access to your file space support for publishing personal web pages.
  • Use of Unity computer labs
  • Use of many popular commercial, discipline-specific and public-domain software packages available through NC State Software Licensing.
  • NC State Help Desk and technical support

Faculty and staff may have access to additional computing resources, depending upon their departmental affiliations or roles.

Groups eligible for service

Unity account privileges are available to NC State faculty and staff for the duration of their employment at the university. These accounts may be maintained after retirement (see Faculty and staff account activation, deactivation and deletion below). Guest accounts may be issued if required for university-related work.

Types of use

Either business or personal.

Duration of service

New accounts for faculty and staff are automatically generated when their employee information appears in the NC State Human Resources (HR) database. Accounts remain active for the duration of faculty and staff employment, unless the account holder violates policies, regulations, and rules governing computing and network services. Account creation, activation and deactivation are explained in detail below for faculty and staff, retirees, and guest accounts.

Cost

There is no charge to faculty and staff for university computing or email accounts.

Access to service

Most faculty and staff use their Unity accounts from a networked computer in their office. These accounts can also be accessed from personally owned technology provided the proper security is in place.  We recommend eduroam for wireless access and VPN for secure access to some services.  For administrative staff, OIT provides managed desktop tools to access accounts and file space. Faculty and staff should contact the computing support person for their unit for information on how to access Unity account resources at work. For other information about Unity computing resources, see the OIT website.

Rules of use

  • All NC State computer and network resources are governed by REG 08.00.02 – Computer Use Regulation. University computing account holders are responsible for reading and abiding by these and all other published policies, regulations, and rules governing specific computing and network services.
  • Use of university accounts by anyone other than the account holder is strictly prohibited.
  • Account holders are responsible for all the activities performed under their account.
  • Account holders are responsible for changing their account passwords and keeping the access and data secure. See changing a password.
  • Passwords can be changed at Password Change Form.
  • University employees are required by the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. 132-1) to maintain copies of all work-related electronic records, including work-related email of a non-transient nature.

Additional service procedures and restrictions

Unity ID (login ID, userid) and default password

A Unity ID is generated automatically, based on the account holder’s name.

The default password for an account is based on the account owner’s birthdate and Campus ID number.

Whenever an account’s default password is active, the account holder must immediately create a secure password. For details, see Unity Credentials.

Changing a password

For security reasons, Unity account holders are required to create their Unity passwords as soon as their accounts are activated. Using the Password Change Form, Unity account holders must change their passwords at least once a year and more frequently for some employees.

University email address

All faculty, staff and students are issued G Suite (Google) accounts, which include the university’s Gmail service. This is the official university email system and is sometimes still referred to as Unity email. A campus email address is in the format userid@ncsu.edu. It is customary for faculty and staff to request an easier to remember email alias, in the format firstname_lastname@ncsu.edu. For more information, see Mail Alias.

Unity email forwarding

It is generally discouraged to forward NC State email to a different email account, but if necessary, this can be done through Gmail’s forwarding process for either all messages or specific types of messages.

Faculty and staff account activation, deactivation and deletion

Activation

As stated above, university computing accounts for new faculty and staff are automatically generated and activated when their employee information appears in the HR database. Accounts remain active for the duration of employment, unless the account holder violates policies, regulations, and rules governing computing and network services.

Deactivation

A faculty or staff computing account is normally deactivated after the employee’s last date of employment or assignment with the university. When an account is deactivated, no one is able to log in to that account with that userid or access files stored under it. However, upon written request and approval of the department head, OIT will extend access to a deactivated account for a brief time so that files can be transferred. During this extension period, the account cannot be used for any purpose other than transferring or retrieving files.

Former employees are still allowed to log in to the MyPack Portal Self-Service page to access W2 information. W2 access remains active through the end of April of the year following their departure from the university.

In special circumstances, a former employee’s files in Unity file space may be temporarily reactivated after the employee has left the university but before the account and files have been deleted. A written request with the reasons for the reactivation and the approval of the former employee’s department head must be sent to OIT at accounts@ncsu.edu.

Deletion

Accounts and account files are deleted one year after deactivation.

Retiree accounts

Faculty and staff may retain their existing Unity account privileges (including Unity email accounts) when they retire. Departments should enter these people into the HR system as “no-pay” employees with the job code Z968. When the retiree no longer wishes to keep the account, the department can terminate his or her no-pay status, which will also disable the Unity account.

Guest accounts

Special guest accounts may be created for applicants who are associated with the university (such as NC State-affiliated agencies, state or federal government agencies). Departments needing Unity accounts for guests should enter these people into the HR system as “no-pay” employees. The Unity accounts will then be created automatically for the guest. When the guest is no longer affiliated with the university, the department can terminate the guest’s no-pay status, which will also disable the Unity account.

Additional information

The OIT website provides more information about Unity computing accounts.

Policy Disclaimer

This site contains information regarding policies, regulations and rules (PRRs) of North Carolina State University. To the extent of any conflict between the information on this site and the actual policy, regulation or rule, the actual policy, rule or regulation governs. NC State policies, regulations and rules can be found at the Policies, Regulations and Rules website.