Access to Electronic Assets of Former Employees

Policy Statement

Until superseded by an official Northwestern University policy, all requests for access to electronic assets of Student Affairs staff members who are no longer employee by the University, including among others, access to Northwestern University email, data files residing on Student Affairs computers, data files stored on personal network drives, Northwestern University applications, or other Northwestern University or Student Affairs sanctioned storage devices, must be approved by a Student Affairs Assistant Vice President level staff member or the Vice President of Student Affairs.  If such request is approved by appropriate authority, the requested electronic assets will be made available to the director-level or above department head of the department from which the request initiated or, if appropriate, that staff member’s designee, who will manage requests for specific assets from staff members within his or her department.  Electronic assets delivered by department heads to staff members should be narrowly-tailored, if practical, to meet specific request criteria.


  1. Staff member requests access to departed staff electronic assets.
  2. Access is approved or denied by AVP-level or VP of Student Affairs.
  3. Electronic assets are made available to department head of requesting staff member or that staff member’s designee.
  4. Department head or designee distributes relevant documents, as appropriate, to the requesting staff member.

Reason for Policy

While email, data files, and other electronic assets created in the scope of Northwestern University employment are the intellectual property of the University, such intellectual property rights do not necessarily transfer to all University staff.  Recognizing that there will be times when staff members need access to specific digital assets of departed staff, the intent of this policy is to grant staff access to needed documents without granting carte blanche access to all the digital assets left behind by departed staff.

Origination Date: July 25, 2013
Last Amended: July 25, 2013
Version: 1.0

Who Approved This Policy: Patricia Telles-Irvin, VP Student Affairs
Contacts: Jim Roberts