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University Property Policy

  • Related Documents:  University Property Procedure and Guidelines
  • Owner:  Human Resources; Computing and Communications Services (CCS)
  • Approver:  Vice-President, Administration and Operations
  • Approval Dates:  March 2004, August 2007


The University provides employees, and others who work at the University, with access to, and use of its property. Property may include furniture, equipment, keys, control/access cards, ID cards, tools, clothing, files, supplies and information systems resources. This property has been acquired, is maintained and is allocated to individuals and groups for specific academic and administrative purposes, which advance the University’s mission. Use of University property is vital in order to fulfill teaching, research and administrative responsibilities.

The University has a responsibility to protect its assets, reputation and legitimate interests where its property is being used in a way that may cause damage, liability, or bring disrepute.

Employees, and others who work at the University, who are granted access to University property will be expected to be cognizant of, and abide by the principles and provisions of this policy.


The purposes of this policy are to:

1.    outline responsibilities concerning University property;

2.    inform employees and others who work at the University of the University’s ownership of property;

3.    indicate mechanisms and procedures to deal with above matters.

Application and Scope

This policy, and its related procedures, apply to all employees of Ryerson University, as well as visitors and guests of the University who are afforded access to University facilities and resources while at the University. Work as defined in this policy and procedures includes both paid and non paid activity. Student responsibilities related to University property are dealt with in academic policies and guidelines, including the Acceptable Use of Information Technology policy.

This policy does not deal with intellectual property issues and rights. The ownership of materials, considered by employees to be intellectual property, will be determined on a case-by-case basis, or as specified in University policy and/or collective agreements.


For the purposes of this policy the following definitions apply:

University Property:  refers to tangible items that University employees and others who work at the University have access to, and use of, in the course of their work. This may include, but is not limited to: furniture; equipment (photocopiers, calculators, lab equipment, staplers, etc.); keys; tools; clothing; petty cash/change funds; control/access cards; procurement cards; books and University paid subscriptions; employee ID cards; files (records and information maintained in the course of employment); and, information technology resources as defined below.

Information Technology Resources: include, but are not limited to the following:

1.    computing devices such as PC workstations and laptops, cellular telephones, phone cards, printers, fax machines and other peripheral devices;

2.    applications and operating systems that run on those devices, both locally and using network services;

3.    servers, mainframes, switches, and other technologies; and

4.    files, emails and data developed and maintained in the course of employment.

Computer Account:  refers to any account number, access code, user ID or authorization code for a computer or communications facility, together with passwords and all associated files, emails or data.

User:  means any person authorized access to, and use of, Ryerson resources.

Department Security Officer:  means a person within a department who coordinates department information security systems and procedures.

Systems Administrator:  means a person who has the ability to provide access to information technology resources, or is responsible for maintaining departmental or University information technology resources.


1.    Ownership:  Property provided by the University to enable work to be performed, as well as information and material collected or created by employees in the course of employment, is owned by the University. Upon separation of employment, such property will be returned to/retained by the University.

2.    Privacy and Security of Information:  It is the University’s policy that there should be a balance between respect for individual privacy and the University’s rights and obligations concerning its resources, including its obligation to manage its information systems efficiently and effectively.

Departments and schools should establish procedures, consistent with requirements of University information systems security, and privacy standards and policies, that outline the mechanisms for secure access to information required to ensure continuity of academic and administrative operations. These procedures should address information in hard copy and electronic form.

Departments and schools are encouraged to address access issues concerning Ryerson computer accounts and other applicable Ryerson records, in contracts with organizations and individuals who perform work at the University as independent contractors and are provided with access to those records and/or accounts, e.g. construction contractors.

System administrators, in the course of their jobs, will unavoidably have access to records of individual computer usage and will be able to and will be required to access files which have been created or received by users . System administrators will not duplicate, delete or print any document created, maintained or received by an individual computer user except as authorized by the user, as specified in department procedures, as required to preserve University property, or where required by law.

In exceptional circumstances, where department or school procedures are not in place, or in special circumstances, the University may access employee computer accounts or files to ensure continuity of academic and administrative operations upon express approval at the vice presidential level.


This policy, and its procedure, falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice President, Administration and Finance.  The overall interpretation and application of this policy is the responsibility of Human Resources.  The interpretation and application of this policy pertaining to computer accounts is a shared responsibility of Human Resources and Computing and Communications Services (CCS).