The Provost IT local file storage policy was created to inform Provost IT-supported users about the risks of storing important business documents locally, and to suggest alternative locations for storing business-related files. It also outlines the acceptable use of Provost IT infrastructure for storing different types of files. Beyond just being a basic departmental security policy, it has important information about how to prepare to continue day-to-day operations without access to your personal computer in the event of an emergency or other disaster.


The purpose of this policy is to outline acceptable computer storage locations for university and business-related files for Provost IT-supported users.

Storing files “locally” and not on network drives presents significant risks, both to the security of those files as well as to their safety in the event of a disaster or other emergency. For example, if a document containing important university business data is stored on a desktop computer and that computer’s hard drive fails, the file may be lost permanently. Alternatively, if a file containing important business data is stored on a laptop computer and someone accidentally spills water on it, the file may be lost permanently.

In either situation, the loss of even one important file can sometimes cause the repetition of hundreds of hours of valuable work; however, storing files on the network can prevent this type of problem from ever happening. Storing files on the network also allows for them to be safely and securely maintained and backed up in an offsite location, providing several more layers of protection than what would ever be possible by storing them directly on one single computer.


Users must store all university and business-related files on their Provost IT-provided network drive. Depending on the nature of these files, they may be stored in either your:

  • Personal drive, called your U: drive, which are for files only intended to be viewed by you.
  • Group / Department drive, often called your G: drive, which are for files that are to be shared within your office, group or department. Your department may have several different group or shared drives; if you are unsure where it would be appropriate to store different files, please speak with your supervisor or contact Provost IT.

University and business-related files may not be stored on any local drive or folder not residing on the network. For most users, this includes their Desktop, My Documents, Downloads and other folders located on their C:\ drive.

The use of any network drives shall be restricted to storing university and business-related data only. Storing personal data, documents, media or other non work-related content either on your university-issued computer or on infrastructure or applications supported by Provost IT is prohibited. Provost IT reserves the right to immediately remove personal data or content from Provost IT infrastructure without prior notice if such data causes storage-related issues.


This policy applies to all users supported by Provost IT, as well as those who have a Provost Account.