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You can view definitions by hovering over underlined key terms within the online survey, or you can view all terms at once in list below.

  • Academic advising systems

    Information systems that support the academic advising process, for example by:

    1. providing staff or faculty advisors with relevant information about students, programs, and courses
    2. documenting advising interactions and their outcomes so that they are available to other officers across the institution or
    3. delivering online self-service resources that help students obtain advising information or make decisions on their own.
  • Academic department

    Beyond the traditional notion of an academic department as a distinct disciplinary academic entity, the term as used in the CDS is intended to include a fuller scope of academic units, from schools and colleges on one end to research groups at the other. The distinguishing attribute is that the entity includes teaching and research faculty, associated staff, and academic administrators (for example, deans).
  • Access Control List (ACL)

    Set of procedures and processes performed by hardware, software, and administrators to monitor access, identify users requesting access, record access attempts, and limit access to the resources of a system to only authorized persons, programs, processes, or other systems. Higher Education Information Security Guide, available from
  • Administrative office

    Units in the central administration of a college or university, such as the offices of the president, vice presidents, provost, vice provosts, and general counsel. Does not include academic units, such as offices of the deans in universities with multiple colleges or schools, or offices of academic departments or research groups.
  • Administrative/enterprise information systems

    Legacy administrative systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as student administration (admissions, financial aid, registration, etc.), financial information systems, procurement systems, human resource systems, payroll, research administration (grants and contracts), and library systems (if supported by the IT organization).
  • Advancement/fundraising System

    An information system used to target, analyze, record, and report on the status of institutional fundraising from such sources as alumni, parents, friends, foundations, and corporations.
  • Best effort support

    With reference to help desk and other support services, best effort indicates that first-level support personnel may not be fully trained, that escalation of issues to more expert personnel may not be available, and that users should expect some problems will not be resolved. Compare to "Full Service."
  • Biometrics

    In computer security, biometrics refers to authentication techniques that rely on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked. Examples include retinal scans, computer analysis of fingerprints or speech, or other physiological means of user identification for security purposes.
  • Blogs

    Web logs that are analogous to personal online diaries in which individuals share their observations and opinions.
  • Business intelligence reporting system

    A set of administrative functions and associated software systems that support planning and decision making by categorizing, aggregating, analyzing, and reporting on data resulting from transaction-processing systems.
  • Campus-generated power

    Provision of electrical power across an entire campus or large parts thereof that is generated by and for the institution, as distinct from a dedicated onsite generator for a specific facility, such as a data center.
  • Capital appropriation

    Appropriation to the central IT organization from the institutional capital budget to fund major purchases and implementations such as networks, ERP systems, and buildings. Do not include capital appropriations amortized through rates; an example of a capital appropriation amortized through rates would be funds derived from taking out a loan or drawing on the institution's endowment for an initiative such as a major network enhancement or a phone switch. Such special funds require payback and are usually repaid through a fee structure.
  • Capital expenditures

    Total capitalized IT spending (full value of assets acquired) for the prior fiscal year. This includes major purchases and implementations such as networks, ERP systems, and buildings. Please exclude all depreciation or amortization expenses. If your accounting system spreads expenditures over multiple years, please include only total outlays for the prior fiscal year. Capital expenditures may be different from capital funds received for the fiscal year. For example, your institution may permit carryover from one fiscal year to the next or may have been granted funding for a capital project that has not yet been spent.
  • Carnegie classifications (Year 2000 version)

    A framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education derived from empirical data on colleges and universities. Originally published in 1973, the framework has been updated in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010. The CDS uses the 2000 Version. To facilitate international benchmarking, CDS participants outside the U.S. are invited to self-select into one of the classifications. (Summarized at and described more fully in
  • Central IT

    The centralized information technology services and support organization reporting to the highest-ranking information technology administrator/officer in the institution.
  • Central office

    In multicampus university systems or community college districts, the central administrative unit headed by the chief executive officers of the system or district. Most central offices include a central IT organization, some of which provide a wide range of services to individual campuses and some of which focus on coordinating the activities of IT organizations on the campuses.
  • Chancellor

    In some multi-campus systems and community college districts in the U.S., chancellor is the title of the chief executive officer of the system or district, in which case the campus CEOs carry the title of president. In other cases, the president is the system CEO, with the campus CEOs designated as chancellors.
  • Chief information officer (CIO)

    A common designation for the highest-ranking information technology officer/administrator in an institution, and sometimes an official title. Given the wide range of actual titles, the CDS sometimes uses "CIO" to refer to all highest-ranking IT officers and administrators, regardless of their official titles. See also "Office of the CIO."
  • Chief technology officer (CTO)

    One of several official titles for the highest-ranking information technology officer/administrator in colleges and universities. In some cases, CTO is the title assigned to a deputy to the highest ranking technology officer/administrator.
  • Classroom and learning space support

    Provision of technology resources and support services in classrooms and other spaces, real and virtual, that are dedicated to teaching and learning.
  • Commodity Internet

    A general term referring to the general public network known as the Internet, as distinct from special-purpose and restricted-access research and education (R&E) networks. Many universities and colleges have connections to both the commodity Internet and one or more R&E networks.
  • Commodity peering

    An approach to provisioning commodity Internet service using excess capacity available on research and education (R&E) networks that connect at major interconnect (peering) points on the commodity Internet. The goals of commodity peering are to improve network performance and reduce costs.
  • Component campus

    Designation for institutions that are included in multi-campus systems and community college districts.
  • Computer lab or cluster

    One or more computers provided by the institution for shared student use. Most labs or clusters provide seating and are intended for extended use. Compare to "Kiosks."
  • Consultants

    Individuals or a firm that advises or consults with the institution about information technology plans or directions, either in general or with regard to a specific technology implementation or project.
  • Contractors

    Employees with whom the institution contracts to provide IT infrastructure and/or specific IT services that might otherwise be delivered by in-house IT staff. If your institution outsources all or nearly all IT services and the outsourcer provides staff on site, please count these employees as staff as opposed to contractors.
  • Course management system

    See Learning Management System.
  • Customer relationship management system

    Strategy, business processes, and software for managing and enhancing an institution's interactions with customers, such as students, prospective students, and alumni; faculty and staff; and current and prospective donors.
  • Cyberinfrastructure (CI)

    The distributed computer, information, and communication technologies combined with the personnel and integrating components that provide a long-term platform to empower the modern scientific research endeavor. Components of CI include high-performance computing, storage resources, visualization facilities, sensors and other data collection apparatus, and advanced networks. In some countries, CI is referred to as e-xcience. (From
  • Data loss prevention (DLP)

    Any system used to used to detect, and prevent potential data breaches by monitoring organizational sensitive data while it is being used, transmitted, or stored.
  • Data warehouse

    A central repository of data often created by integrating other data sources and used for reporting and analysis.
  • Dedicated on-site generator

    A source of electrical power for a data center or other facility, separate from the campus or public electrical grid. Dedicated generators are often used to back up other sources of electrical power; some are permanently installed, and others are mobile.
  • Degree audit/academic progress tracking

    Information systems that track student progress in fulfilling a degree program or educational plan, and that alert students, instructors, advisors or others of deviations or deficits, potentially identifying corrective action.
  • Desktop computing

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Desktop computer technical analysis and consulting staff
    • Computer resale activities and staff
    • Computer installation, maintenance, and repair
    • Technicians and technical support for desktop computing
    • Computer repair staff
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

    A U.S. copyright law, enacted in 1998, that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The DMCA extended the reach of copyright and increased penalties for infringement via the Internet while limiting the liability of Internet service providers, including colleges and universities. The 2001 European Union Copyright Directive (UED) and Electronic Commerce Directive addressed some of the same issues as the DMCA.
  • Distance education

    Teaching methods and associated technology that enable students to access instruction and instructional resources without being in the same educational setting as the instructor. Models for distance education include distributed students with real-time or asynchronous access to an instructor, other students, or online materials; students assembled in a classroom with a remote instructor; students and instructor(s) in multiple classrooms connected simultaneously; and other variations.
  • Distributed antenna system (DAS)

    A network of spatially separated antenna nodes that provides wireless services within a campus, building, or other area. One application of a DAS is to enhance cellular telephony service in an institution while maintaining institutional control of the antenna infrastructure.
  • District

    A group of community colleges with a common governing board. Analogous to a multicampus system.
  • Domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC)

    A suite of specifications for securing key information provided by the domain name system (DNS) of Internet Protocol (IP) networks, including origin authentication, authenticated denial of existence, and data integrity.
  • E-learning

    Learning content or interaction that is facilitated electronically, such as delivery of digital content or use of threaded online discussion.
  • E-portfolios

    Digitized collection of artifacts used to document accomplishments of an individual or institution. The collection may contain text-based, graphic, or multimedia elements archived on a website or on other electronic media such as a CD-ROM or DVD. E-portfolios can be used as a tool in student advising, to document learning outcomes and institutional quality for accreditation, or to demonstrate accomplishments for career searches.
  • E-science

    See Cyberinfrastructure (CI)
  • Early-alert systems

    Information systems that help identify, track, and interact with students who exhibit early signs of risk for attrition (e.g., absenteeism or poor academic performance), as determined through input from instructors or advisors, or automated monitoring of data in institutional systems such as the SIS or LMS. Also known as early warning systems.
  • Electronic signatures

    Data appended to a message or document that authenticates the identity of the message sender or document signer to ensure that the message or document content has not been changed in the transmission process.
  • Enterprise directory

    Database where different types of identifiers are correlated to support identity management, authentication, authorization, and other services.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

    Refers to an integrated suite of administrative information systems designed to support and automate business processes through a centralized database system. In higher education, these systems usually include student systems, financial systems, and human resources (payroll/personnel) systems, as well as data warehouse and planning tools.
  • Exchange rate

    Since all financial data in CDS survey modules are in US dollars, participants outside the United States are asked to provide the conversion rates from local currency to US dollars.
  • Federation

    A federation is an association of organizations that come together to exchange information, as appropriate, about their users and resources in order to enable collaborations and transactions.
  • Finance management system

    Software supporting the financial operations of the institution, including general ledger, purchasing, accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting, and so forth.
  • Firewall

    Set of related programs and policies that protects the resources of a private network from users on other networks. A firewall can also control what outside resources users of the private network can access.
  • Full service support

    With reference to help desk and other support services, full service indicates that the system or service is on an official "supported list" or the equivalent, with appropriate user documentation, training for support personnel, interoperability testing, and so forth. Compare to "Best Effort.".
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE)

    A combination of full- and part-time personnel (or enrolled students) into a single measure as determined by formula. For non-student personnel counts in the CDS, please calculate FTE based on a 40-hour work week over the course of the full FY (or approximately 2,000 hours per year). For student employees, a simple formula for calculating FTE might be to take the number of students employed times the number of hours per week they work times the number of weeks a year they work and divide that total by 2,000.
  • Full-time student

    • Undergraduate: A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, or 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term.
    • Graduate: A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits, or 9 or more quarter credits, or a student involved in thesis or dissertation preparation that is considered full time by the institution. Doctor's degree — Professional practice — as defined by the institution. (From
  • Funding model

    The formulas, allocation methods, service charges, and other mechanisms by which central IT receives funding to support its capital and operating expenses.
  • Grants management system: post-award

    Software to support administration of research projects from notice of award through final billing.
  • Grants management system: pre-award

    Software to support development and submission of grant proposals to external funding agencies.
  • HDI Customer Satisfaction Index

    Web-based customer satisfaction surveying service.
  • Help desk

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Walk-in support for students, faculty, and staff
    • Call-in support for students, faculty, and staff
    • Call centers
    • Support for knowledge bases, self-help tools
    • Specialized support centers
    • Help desk staff
  • High-performance computing (HPC)

    Configurations of parallel processors, storage and specialized networking designed to address large jobs with more or less tightly coupled subprocesses.
  • High-throughput computing (HTC)

    Systems that are designed to provide large amounts of computing power over long periods of time, e.g., weeks or months.
  • Host

    Any end device connecting to a data network, via wire or wireless, not including the equipment necessary to make the network function (such as routers, switches, modems, wireless access points, etc.). Examples of hosts include desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smart phone, VoIP phone, server, printer, thermostat, web cam, security camera.
  • Human resources (HR) information system

    Software to support human resources management, including recruiting, training, payroll, benefits administration, etc.
  • Hybrid course

    A course in which part of the course is delivered online and part is delivered in face-to-face class meetings. Hybrid courses typically reduce the number of days of face-to-face class meetings (for example, from three to two meetings).
  • Identity provider

    Source for validating a user identity in a federated identity system.
  • InCommon

    A formal federation of organizations focused on creating a common framework for collaborative trust in support of research and education. InCommon eliminates the need for researchers, students, and educators to maintain multiple, password-protected accounts. Instead the federation supports user access to protected resources by enabling organizations to make access decisions to resources based on a user's status and privileges as presented by the user's home organization. (From
  • Information literacy requirement

    A requirement to prove the student knows how to find relevant information resources online but also can evaluate the quality of the resource, use technology appropriately for search, categorization, retrieval, and analysis, and understand the ethics associated with the use of intellectual property.
  • Information technology infrastructure library (ITIL)

    A set of practices for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business. (From
  • Institution

    For CDS participants from central offices of multicampus systems and community college districts, institution refers to the central office only, not the entire multi-campus entity. For all other participants, Institution refers to the individual college or university (which the legacy CDS survey referred to as a campus). See multicampus system.
  • Institutional research (IR)

    The function in college and university administration to inform planning and decision making by collecting, analyzing, reporting, and warehousing a wide range of data about students, faculty, staff, finances, etc. While such functions may be carried out by many individuals, most institutions have a central Office of Institutional Research, or the equivalent, responsible for the institution's primary IR activities, including reporting of institutional information to accrediting agencies, government offices, and other external entities.
  • Interactive learning

    Learning environments that involve interaction between the student and faculty, other students, or resources. Interactive learning can involve simulations, games, role playing, experimentation, etc.
  • Intrusion detection system (IDS)

    Any tool or process used to analyze network to look for known patterns of traffic that might indicate an attack. Host-based intrusion detection systems analyze logs produced by operating systems to identify security-related events. Higher Education Information Security Guide, available from
  • Intrusion prevention system (IPS)

    Any tool or process used to keep unauthorized users from accessing internal networks and resources. An intrusion prevention system actively monitors the network, looking for patterns indicating malicious activity and taking action, such as blocking all traffic from a suspect port, when an issue is uncovered. Higher Education Information Security Guide, available from

    The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS) is a single, comprehensive, data collection program designed to capture data for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for all U.S. institutions and educational organizations whose primary purpose is to provide postsecondary education. IPEDS collects institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty staff, and finances. IPEDS data reporting requires the extensive effort of a variety of offices on any campus, and this is the "official" information the college or university stands behind, used by the federal government. EDUCAUSE collects a subset of IPEDS data from CDS participants from outside the U.S. in order to facilitate international benchmarking.
  • IPv6

    An Internet Protocol standard developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) in order to address the increasing number of users and devices accessing the Internet.
  • Kiosk

    A general-purpose or specialized computer or terminal installed in a public area to enable students, other community members, or the general public to access information, transact business, or perform other functions. A kiosk is intended for comparatively short sessions and is often designed for standing access, as compared to the computer workstations found in a typical computer lab, which provide for extended use.
  • Knowledge management system

    A system of used to identify, create, store and disseminate information.
  • Learning (course) management system (LMS)

    Software that provides an integrated suite of online resources and communications capabilities in support of traditional courses and can also serve as a platform for fully online courses. A typical LMS provides a range of activity modules, such as forums, databases, and wikis; facilitates student assignments and quizzes; and enables monitoring of student engagement and reporting of grades. Many LMS implementations are integrated with student information systems.
  • Learning objects

    Reusable digital learning material, such as a simulation, data set, or glossary. Learning objects include metadata, which allows them to be categorized and searched.
  • Mainframe

    A computer typically optimized for high reliability and security, high-volume and concurrent input/output processing, and substantial storage. Examples include IBM Z-Series, Unisys ClearPath, and Fujitsu BS2000.
  • Multicampus system

    A multicampus system is defined as a group of two or more colleges or universities, each having substantial autonomy and headed by a chief executive or operating officer, all under a single governing board, which is served by a system chief executive officer who is not also the chief executive officer of any of the system's institutions. Such a system is to be distinguished from a "flagship" campus with branch campuses, and also from a group of campuses or systems, each with its own governing board, that is coordinated by some state body. (National Association of System Heads,
  • Multimedia services

    Support for design, production, and deployment of content in audio, still image, animation, video, and interactive formats, often in combination with text.
  • Net revenue

    Revenue remaining after accounting for expenditures for products and the cost of doing business.
  • Network access control (NAC)

    Any system used to control access to an organization’s network and its resources by ensuring the security of the device attempting to access the network. For instance, NAC might be used to verify if equipment connecting to a network is running antivirus software and prevent that system from connecting to the network until antivirus software is properly installed and operational.
  • Network operations center (NOC)

    A facility for monitoring and managing a data, video, or voice network. The facility may also include some of the operating equipment.
  • On-costs

    The costs an employer incurs beyond an employee's salary, including things such as workers' compensation, leave loading, and payroll tax.
  • Open content

    Content licensed in a manner that provides users with the right to make more kinds of uses than those normally permitted under the law, at no cost to the user. (From Of primary concern are four rights:

    • Reuse: the content in its unaltered/verbatim form
    • Revise: adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
    • Remix: combine the original or revised content with other content to create something new
    • Redistribute: share copies of the original, revisions, or remixes
  • Operating appropriation

    The allocation to the central IT organization from the institutional operating budget that is generally used to cover all non-capital IT operations costs such as staff compensation and benefits, operating expenses, equipment (including maintenance and repair), software licenses, and so forth.
  • Operating expenditures

    Total non-capital day-to-day operations and maintenance expenses for the prior fiscal year. This includes costs such as staff compensation and benefits, operating expenses, equipment (including maintenance and repair), software licenses, and so forth. This does not include any amortization and depreciation. Operating expenditures may be different from operating funds received for the fiscal year. For example, your institution may permit carryover from one fiscal year to the next.
  • Outsource

    To contract with an external entity or vendor to provide IT services or infrastructure that you might otherwise have employed your IT staff to perform. It does not refer to an arrangement with another part of your institution or with a system office.
  • Part-time student

    • Undergraduate: A student enrolled for either less than 12 semester or quarter credits, or less than 24 contact hours a week each term.
    • Graduate: A student enrolled for less than 9 semester or quarter credits. (From
  • Payment card industry (PCI)

    In general, PCI refers to debit, credit, prepaid, ATM, and other cards and associated businesses. PCI also refers to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, which oversees the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
  • Portal

    An approach to an institution's website that aims to leverage investments in enterprise information systems, data warehouses, and infrastructure by providing a seamless and easy-to-navigate web interface to an integrated set of information services for various institutional constituents.
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE)

    A system that passes electrical power along with data on Ethernet cabling; unlike USB standards, PoE allows long cable lengths.
  • President

    Title for the chief executive officer (CEO) in most U.S. colleges and universities. In some multi-campus systems and community college districts in the U.S., president is the title of the chief executive officer of the system or district (in which case the campus CEOs carry the title of chancellor). In other cases, the chancellor is the system CEO, with the campus CEOs designated as presidents.
  • President or chancellor's cabinet

    The administrative leaders who meet regularly as a group with the institution's chief executive officer. The cabinet may be all administrators who report directly to the CEO, or it may be a larger or smaller group.
  • Prior fiscal year

    The most recent fiscal year ending before July 1, 2013. In the United States, most higher education fiscal years begin in July, August, or September; accounting practices vary internationally.
  • Program, project, and/or service management

    A set of services often found in central IT organizations that supports design, development, and management of programs, projects, and services.
  • Provost/chief academic officer

    In many institutions in the United States, Australia, and Canada, a provost is the senior academic administrator, responsible for curricular and instructional programs and, in some cases, admissions, libraries, museums, student services, and IT. Deans of the various colleges, faculties, and schools typically report to the provost. This position is designated as pro vice chancellor in some institutions in the United States and Ireland.
  • Public key encryption (PKI)

    A system of public encryption using digital certificates from certificate authorities and other registration authorities that verify and authenticate the validity of each party involved in an electronic transaction.
  • Research and Education Networking - information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC)

    A membership organization headquartered at Indiana University that provides security information collection, analysis, dissemination, and early warning to support the unique environment and needs of organizations connected to served higher education and research networks. (From
  • Research and education networks

    Specialized and restricted-access networks dedicated to support universities, colleges, and other education and research institutions and their affiliates, as distinct from the commodity Internet. R&E networks are operated at the national, regional, and state levels, with numerous interconnections around the world. Institutions served by one or more R&E networks typically have a direct connection to the commodity Internet as well.
  • Satellite academic campus

    A campus that does not have its own executive officer, as distinct from a component campus of a multi-campus system or community college district.
  • Section 508

    Section 508 is an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that mandates that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • Server hosting

    Provision of facilities in a data center for another department, or external entity, to locate and manage their servers.
  • Server management

    Provision of hardware and operation systems management as well as data center facilities for servers owned by another department or external entity.
  • Service provider

    Organization or entity that is providing services to members of a federated identity system and relying upon the assurances of an identity provider to control access to those services.
  • Shaping

    Shaping bandwidth utilization refers to adjusting parameters on the institutional Internet connection to limit use through various means, such as type of connection, location of connection, direction of traffic, time of day, or other specific characteristics.
  • Smart card

    Small electronic device about the size of a credit card that contains electronic memory, and possibly an embedded integrated circuit. Smart cards are used for a variety of purposes, including storing information, storing digital cash, and providing a means to access computer networks.
  • Space/facilities expenditures

    Any charges assessed to central IT by the institution or other facility owner for use of space and/or facilities. Some examples include office space, furniture, maintenance, property taxes, security and office supplies. Occupancy costs for space dedicated to IT functions, such as the data center (including power/heat management and raised floor), are also included.
  • Staff

    Refers to all staff employed by the central IT organization, including clerical, technical, and management staff and limited-term or temporary employees. If your institution contracted with a vendor or external organization to provide all or nearly all IT services during that period, including all IT staff on site, please count the employees of the outsourcer as staff rather than contractors. If your IT organization has merged with the library, please include in your staff count only the library FTE personnel who perform IT-related functions (see Library/IT Staff).
  • Student information system

    Software to manage information about students, including the admissions process, course registration and grades, degree audit, housing, etc., and to provide student self-service functions such as course registration, access to course catalogues, class schedules, grades, transcripts, and so forth.
  • Student technology centers

    Facilities, equipment, services, and staff in support of student access to and use of the institution's and other information, learning, and communications resources; includes public student lab support and specialized training and support for students.
  • System

    See Multicampus System.
  • Tablet

    Portable personal computer equipped with a touchscreen as a primary input interface.
  • Telephony

    Please include the following in this area if applicable:

    • Wire and cable infrastructure for voice network
    • Dial tone (including services to student housing)
    • Voice mail
    • Long distance resale
    • Cellular and paging services
    • Telephony staff, hardware, software, etc.
  • Television-quality video studio

    Video facilities, equipment, transmission capabilities, and expert personnel enabling the institution to produce or participate in remote production of live and recorded video programming suitable for television broadcast.
  • Time division multiplexing (TDM)

    Transmission of multiple signals, such as telephone calls, over the same medium by taking turns on the channel. TDM is used for circuit mode communication, as contrasted to "VoIP."
  • Token

    Small physical device used to authenticate the holder to a computer system or network. Tokens can hold cryptographic keys or provide one-time passwords. Tokens typically require a user-entered PIN and therefore can directly implement two-factor authentication.
  • Two-factor authentication

    Any authentication protocol that requires two forms of authentication to access a system. This contrasts with traditional password authentication, which requires only one factor (knowledge of a password) to gain access to a system. Three standard kinds of authentication factors are recognized: something you know (such as a password or PIN), something you have (such as a credit card or a hardware token), or something you are (such as a fingerprint, a retinal pattern, or other biometrics).
  • Unified threat management (UTM)

    All-in-one security platform intended to serve as an organization’s centrally managed, comprehensive network defense solution.
  • Uninterrupted power supply (UPS)

    A mechanism that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source fails with near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions.
  • Utilities Expenditures

    Any charges assessed to central IT by the institution or other facility owner for use of utilities (including electricity).
  • Visualization

    Use of computer graphics, often with large or multiple displays driven by high-performance computers accessing large databases to produce still and dynamic images that enable exploration, analysis, and understanding of research data; presentation and manipulation of instructional simulations; design of architectural and product models; and other applications.
  • Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP)

    A set of technologies and commercial products and services that enable transmission of voice and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks. VoIP usually refers to replacement of traditional telephone sets and their associated cabling and user charges with either a dedicated VoIP phone set or an appropriately configured computer. VoIP can also be deployed within the telephone switching infrastructure, even if users retain their traditional sets.
  • Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG)

    A standard for web content accessibility that is developed in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world.
  • Wiki

    An editable web page that can be edited by anyone with access to the wiki.
  • Work study

    The U.S. Department of Education, through the Federal Work Study Program, provides funds earned through part-time employment to assist students in financing the costs of postsecondary education (from College and university departments that employ Work Study students have correspondingly lower wage costs. Institutions outside the U.S. may benefit from similar programs.




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