Use of Blackboard Organizations for Academic Human Resources, Provost’s Guidelines on
From: Edith Hillan, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life
Date: July 8, 2010
Re: Guidelines for the Use of Blackboard Organizations for Academic Human Resources
Recently our office has received requests to use Blackboard Organizations for various academic human resources processes. As such, we have prepared the attached Guidelines in consultation with the appropriate offices.
Blackboard offers a secure, University-supported environment that many faculty and some administrative staff are familiar with using. Restricted membership of each Organization will ensure that only those faculty who should have access to the documents will be able to view materials. Date-restricted access will ensure that materials are made available to appropriate groups within specified time ranges. A future development may allow candidates and referees to submit materials directly to the relevant Organization, providing significant savings in terms of administrative support time. Appropriate oversight will be needed so that materials are removed in a timely manner.
As an initial pilot, we would like to make Blackboard Organizations available to those academic divisions undertaking Third-Year Review and/or Promotion to Senior Lecturer, with the intention of opening this to all divisions for use by Promotions Committees and Tenure Committees in 2010-2011. If you are interested in participating in this initial pilot, please contact Sara-Jane Finlay, Director Faculty & Academic Life (firstname.lastname@example.org; 416.978.1855). She will be happy to assist you with the process of applying for and setting up an Organization as well as providing appropriate training through the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation.
Please note that through UTORecruit, the University provides a secure, supported system, tailored specifically for academic recruitment. Applications for Blackboard Organizations intended for use by search committees will not be approved.
All these processes require the collection, disclosure, and retention of personal information and should follow the practices set out in the Access and Privacy Practices: General and Administrative document prepared by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office at the University of Toronto.
Provost’s Guidelines on the Use of Blackboard Organizations for Academic Human Resources
Academic human resources processes such as third-year review, tenure, and promotion require the collection, disclosure, retention, and sharing of confidential and personal information. One means to support the distribution and organization of these materials is through the use of Blackboard Organizations. As a University-wide, secure, and supported system, Blackboard offers a safe environment for the storage and sharing of materials. In using Blackboard for these processes, the following Guidelines must be adhered to. Periodic checks will be run to ensure that all Organizations being used for academic human resources conform to the Guidelines belowi.
Please note that through UTORecruit, the University provides a secure, supported system tailored specifically for academic recruitment. Applications for Blackboard Organizations intended for use by search committees will not be approved.
- Blackboard Organizations for the purposes of academic human resources must be applied for through the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) and will be approved by the Office of the Vice-President & Provost. The procedures as outlined on the portal information site must be followed.
- The individual who will act as the administrator for the Organization must receive appropriate training through CTSI.
- All documents uploaded to the Organization must be treated with strictest confidence. Materials must not be downloaded to desktops/laptops/USB keys or any other digital mediumii.
- Committee members will be permitted to print one copy of all materials for their personal use. Upon conclusion of the relevant process, all printed copies must be shredded or returned to the appropriate administrative officer in the division for shredding.
- Access to all materials should be limited to the time required to perform the task. After the work is completed, the materials should be promptly removed from the Organization and stored in a secure location. Blackboard allows the administrator for the Organization to close or block access to users on a pre-set date.
- Membership of the Organization should be limited to committee members and one administrative staff member.
- Committee deliberations must not be conducted through Blackboard Organizations. All Policy requirements for the conduct of academic human resources remain in effect.
All processes that require the collection, disclosure, and retention of personal information should follow the practices set out in Access and Privacy Practices: General and Administrative document prepared by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office at the University of Toronto.
i We would prefer divisions to use Blackboard Organizations for academic human resources processes. Internal secure file transfer servers may also be appropriate. In this case, the Guidelines provided above should be followed.
ii Confidential electronic records must not be removed from the secure server environment without official authorization, demonstrable operational need and demonstration that there are no other reasonable means to accomplish the task for which the records may be needed. When this occurs, the media used must be encrypted and any hard copies must be handled appropriately and securely (please see Access and Privacy Practices: General and Administrative).