IE Office Policies

IE Office policies are reviewed and revised on a periodic basis. When policies are updated, the effective date is noted following the policy.

1. Data Security and Distribution of Sensitive Data. Data security is a primary concern for the protection of our students, faculty and staff, and the IE Office follows all policies of USC Aiken and the USC System to protect sensitive data. Sensitive data are stored only in secure locations and may only be distributed to campus users in adherence to all provisions of FERPA and through secure means. Sensitive data of any sort, including but not limited to Social Security numbers and educational records, may not be sent via email, placed on a portable storage device, or placed on a laptop computer in an unencrypted format. (Updated May 18, 2006)

2. Access to Online Interfaces. Access to sensitive data available through online interfaces is limited and closely monitored primarily to prevent hacking and other unauthorized electronic and automated access to student information. It is important to recognize that the data available through these interfaces are similar to IMS data but they are not identical, and so separate safeguards are necessary. Further, while IMS and CMS are closed information systems, these data are available through the internet, and additional vulnerabilities exist for security breaches. To protect our individuals from identify theft and to limit exposure to liability, some simple but necessary security precautions have been put in place; these policies are parallel to those for accessing the USC Data Warehouse at http://datawarehouse.sc.edu/. Users of these online interfaces through the USCA IE Office web site must 1) have a current signed FERPA statement on file with the Records Office (all current IMS users have already done this), and 2) have an immediate supervisor send an email to Ms. Cheryl Fogle (cherylf@usca.edu) authorizing access to the appropriate online interface. (Updated May 18, 2007).

3. Ethics. All staff members in the IE Office adhere to the University of South Carolina Ethics Policy (.PDF) and the Association for Institutional Research Code of Ethics ^, with the understanding that duties performed in the office obligate staff to act with the highest standards of ethical conduct and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest. (Updated May 18, 2006)

4. Distribution of Information, Reports, and Lists. To promote transparency and reliability, all reports, lists, and other information distributed by the IE Office should provide in the document footer or below the table or list 1) the data source, and 2) the statement "Produced by the USC Aiken Office of Institutional Effectiveness." (Created May 18, 2007)

5. Storage of Paper Surveys. Hard copies of paper surveys are kept for one year, after which they are destroyed. Surveys which contain sensitive or personally identifiable information are shredded. (Updated October 25, 2006)


6. Archive of Survey Reports and Data. Electronic copies of survey reports and raw data or results of surveys are archived on the secure Fileshare server at K:\Institutional Effectiveness\SURVEYS. These files are stored by unit using the following naming conventions.

Report for Distribution
{UNIT ABBREVIATION}_{Description}_{YEAR}.{filesuffix}
BUS_ExitSurvey_0405.xls

Raw Data and Supplementary Files
{Folder} called "Data"