To ensure continued access to business documents by their units, faculty, staff, and student employees should use storage options that allow for shared ownership of unit files. This can prevent disruption to operations by ensuring the unit does not lose access to documents and files when someone leaves the university.
If units need access to university information contained in UM-provided accounts and online services held by an employee or a terminated employee for business reasons, there are multiple requirements that must be met (for example, the request must be guided by the unit’s Human Resources). Refer to Getting access to someone’s account after they leave for more details. This process should not be used as a replacement for proper document management.
Shared ownership of business documents
There are multiple storage options that support shared ownership, depending on the types of data and business needs of units.
Refer to the following for details on how cloud services can be used to support shared ownership:
- Shared Document Repository Comparison (Dropbox and Google)
- Team Folders in U-M Dropbox: Dropbox Team Folders are created by request for groups, teams, or departments. Team Folders are designed to share data that is automatically available to all group members.
- Google Shared Drives Overview: Google shared drives (formerly Team Drives) offer shared space in Google Drive where teams can create, store, search, collaborate on, and access all their team-owned files.
- Transfer Ownership of Files in Google Drive: This document provides instructions on how to transfer ownership to a Google shared drive owned by a department/unit.
What happens when someone leaves U-M?
U-M employees should transfer ownership of work-related files and other digital information to their manager or appropriate colleagues before leaving the university or moving from one job or role to another within the university. Upon leaving U-M, the access that someone keeps or loses to U-M computing services depends on their affiliation to the university.
- End of Employment: Faculty and staff who are terminated and have no other affiliation with U-M will lose access to most services after a grace period.
- Retirees: Some access to U-M computing services will end.
- End of Sponsorship: Sponsored people immediately lose access to U-M computing services at the end of their sponsorship.
- Graduating Students: Graduating students will no longer be able to use some U-M services, although they keep access to alumni computing services. The exact timing of when a graduating student loses access to services depends on when their U-M affiliation changes from “student” to “alum.” The timing is different for each school or college.
ITS provides guidance for individuals for managing their digital files and information when they leave U-M. Additionally, the following resources are available for specific services.
Getting access to someone’s account after they leave
In cases where ownership of digital files and information is not transferred before an employee leaves the university—or when a U-M account holder becomes incapacitated or deceased—unit Human Resources guides the process for obtaining that information. There must be a legal requirement or a compelling business reason that is supported in writing by Human Resources and in accordance with Privacy and the Need to Monitor and Access Records (SPG 601.11).
Requests may cover access to files and other digital information held on U-M systems, such as file servers, U-M contracted-for cloud services (such as email), or other resources provided to an individual by the university because of that individual's affiliation with the university. Refer to the following for details on the request processes:
Applicable University Policies and Procedures
The university may provide access to someone else’s account where reasonable and appropriate in accordance with university policy. Refer to Privacy and the Need to Monitor and Access Records (SPG 601.11) for more information.
Refer to UHR Procedure: 201.40 Termination of Employment for a link to download the most recent version of the U-M Termination Checklist. The checklist includes items about the transfer of shared files and MCommunity groups. Michigan Medicine employees should follow Michigan Medicine procedures.