System Administrator Standards

This standard outlines the required procedures for systems administrators at WPI.


A systems administrator is a member of the university community who is responsible for system and network support of computing resources in a local, departmental or enterprise environment. This could be a single person or a shared responsibility among several individuals. The title of this person varies by department. The systems administrator acts as the primary contact person in case of a security event.


The purpose of this standard is to outline required procedures for systems administrators.


The scope covers systems administrators managing systems in one or more of the following categories.

  • Systems storing
    • WPI confidential information
    • Governmentally regulated information
    • WPI intellectual property
    • Information covered under any executed non-disclosure agreement
  • IT supported administrative and academic computers
  • Computers in WPI laboratories
  • Systems connected to the WPI network (except student-owned machines)


WPI systems administrators:

  • Adhere to the WPI Acceptable Use Policy and theCode of Conduct for IT Administrators.
  • Provide, maintain and secure systems.
  • Possess and maintain current knowledge and skills for administered platforms
  • Provide back-up and recovery for critical data, specifically:
    • Creating, maintaining and adhering to an approved backup schedule
    • Ensuring that the previous backup was successful
    • Providing for a reasonable tape rotation schedule and changing tapes accordingly
    • Cataloging, clearly marking, and storing tapes in an appropriate "safe place" or off-site
    • Replacing tape media according to the backup schedule and media manufacturer recommendations
  • Define account creation and removal procedures
  • Provide support to end-users directly and via the Helpdesk
  • Change Management
    • Document changes via software or other means
    • Require supervisory sign-off for changes that affect the infrastructure or secure data of the university
  • Initiate an investigation of any suspected security breach according to the IT Incident Response Standard.

Revision History:

  • The Information Technology Division endorsed this standard in February 2007.
  • The faculty Committee on IT Policy endorsed this standard on April 15, 2008.
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