Computer User Accounts and Resources

Statement and Purpose

Seattle Pacific University is a Christian educational community committed to integrating faith with learning and life. The user accounts and resource policies outlined in this section are designed to promote clear expectations about how accounts and resources are created, about who is eligible for what, about issues of security and confidentiality, and about how accounts and resources are affected following changes in academic or employment standing.

Use of all computer accounts and resources fall under the University's Computer Acceptable Use policy.

Important information regarding employee termination and separation is included here: Employment Separation Procedures.

Table of Contents

Version: 1.3  

Effective Date:  August 2, 2011 
Last Updated: October 10, 2022

Responsible Office:
Computer & Information Systems
Responsible Executive: 
AVP for Information Technology/CIO

Definition of Accounts

Each of Seattle Pacific University's information resources and systems has unique and fundamental differences in eligibility, account duration and provisions for security. 

Requirements and conditions concerning individual responsibilities in the use of Seattle Pacific University computer accounts and resources are described in the University’s Computer Acceptable Use policy. All persons are expected to understand and abide by the conditions set forth therein.

General Computer/Network User Accounts

  1. SPU User Account (SPU Username and Password)
    The SPU User account provides log in identification for university provided computer resources.  This credential is also used for access to network resources, SPU email accounts, the Banner Information System, Canvas, and many other systems and applications.

    All SPU User Accounts are required to use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).  Individuals preferring to use a token vs. one of the standard methods may purchase one from Computer and Information Systems. SPU will provide an authentication token to campus community members who are unable to enroll in MFA using standard methods.  A fee will be assessed to replace lost or damaged tokens.

  2. Banner Information System
    The Banner Information System (referred to as Banweb) is SPU's primary resource for academic, personal, and employment information. Banner is the primary, web-based, general user interface for personal student information, for academic information (both students and faculty), for employee/personnel information, and for departmental (financial) data.

  3. SPU Email Account
    The SPU Email account resources are provided by Microsoft's Office365 cloud based education offering.  This includes email, contacts, calendaring, tasks, OneDrive for Business, Teams, and many other online resources, depending on the specific license allocated.

  4. Canvas
    The Canvas system is SPU's on-line learning (web) resource. Most classes utilize this system in a "blended" instructional format that integrates classroom lectures with on-line resources and components. Canvas credentials use the SPU User Account (SPU Username and Password). Access to specific course content is controlled apart from the account creation process and is determined by enrollment in a class that utilizes the Canvas integrated learning environment.

Special Access Accounts

  1. Administrative Banner (formerly called Internet Native Banner)
    In addition to the general access Banner user (Banweb) account, a highly restricted interface is provided to the Banner Information System via Administrative Banner (formerly called “Internet Native Banner”). These accounts are privileged and available only to SPU employees responsible for maintaining academic, administrative, personnel and employment records. Persons needing Administrative Banner accounts need to be authorized for such account access by their departments, and complete training in the Federal Educational Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) which governs how the university handles personal information. If you are an employee and believe you need access to Admin Banner, please check with your supervisor to determine if FERPA training is in order, and to initiate the account creation process.
  2. Privileged Administrative Accounts
    Privileged administrative accounts are manually assigned and managed by Computer and Information Systems. Details concerning the use of privileged administrative accounts are set forth in the Privileged System Access policy.
  3. LINUX Server Credentials
    LINUX accounts are available to faculty and staff on an as-needed basis and managed by Computer and Information Systems.

  4. Guest/Contractor/Affinity Accounts
    There are times when access to University resources is deemed to be in the best interests of the university.  The creation of guest accounts are intended to provide access to campus resources to those individuals (generally off-campus contractors or third-party service providers) and are managed separately than normal employee or student resources. Contact CIS for more information or assistance.

Account Eligibility and "Standing"

Seattle Pacific University computer accounts and network resources are intended for use by SPU faculty, staff and students in the performance of academic instruction or University business.  This section defines specific resources and aspects of account eligibility as determined by an individual’s “standing.”

  1. Automation via the Management of Accounts and Resources System (MARS)
    User account and resource creation – regardless of the specific account or resource – is governed by an individual’s “standing” as recorded within the Banner Information System (“standing” includes such categories as current student status, current employee status, former student, former employee, etc.).

    The first step in the account creation process is that the individual needs to have a record in Banner.  For employees (faculty, staff, and “exceptions,” (such as employees of University contract service providers)) this occurs at the onset of employment and is managed by the department of Human Resources. For students,  Banner records are created at the time of registration or admission to the university – and are maintained by Student Academic Services and Admissions.

    Depending on a person’s standing in Banner, the MARS system automatically creates, configures, or deletes a standard set of accounts (referred to as the “Basic Suite”), thereby affecting an individual’s resource access. The Basic Suite involves creation of the user’s SPU User Account and the “dependent resources" (such as Banner Information Systems access, an SPU email account, and other resources (described throughout this document). In addition to the automated capabilities of the system, MARS also provides a user interface that permits individuals to request additional resources as well as customize certain aspects of their account (such as renaming an account or configuring email forwarding).
  2. Request Additional Accounts or Resources: End User Interface
    The end user interface to the MARS system is provided through the Banner ->Computer Resources -> Manage Computer Resources menu. Persons with access to Banner may use this interface to request additional accounts and resources (such as Administrative Banner), to reconfigure existing accounts and resources, and to request additional account management functions such as an automated password reset.
  3. MARS Exception Process
    As noted above, exceptions to a person’s standing – and therefore, changes in the normal account/resource eligibility guidelines – are based upon Banner information. An exception to the normal MARS-automated process is warranted if a person does not have “standing” as defined on the basis of student status or University employment. Generally, these exceptions are provided for on-campus, third party service providers. Initial approval for exception status should be made within the student/employees department, followed by a formal request to the appropriate University designee (Human Resources or Student Academic Services). Once approved, a record for the individual is entered into Banner and the automated account creation process is initiated.
  4. Account Eligibility: General Use Accounts
    SPU User accounts are automatically created for SPU employees and matriculated students via the Management of Accounts and Resources System (MARS). Applicants receive a SPU ID and SPU Username/Password automatically upon acceptance to SPU. Faculty and staff credentials are created upon contracted employment. Once an individual's personal information (academic, personnel) is entered into Banner, it remains in the system indefinitely.
    1. An SPU User account is REQUIRED in order for an individual to receive an email account and privileged access to other network resources (such as the ability to log in to a SPU office or lab computer).
    2. SPU User accounts for desktop computer access, email,  and Banner access are created automatically from within the MARS system.
    3. Canvas (On-line Learning) access is provisioned through the SPU User account based on enrollment/registration.
    4. Access to special departmental folders/shares must be requested through the MARS "Request a Resource" menu. Once created, all SPU User account information is displayed via the Banner->MARS resource menu.
  5. Account Eligibility: Special Access Accounts
    Special access accounts require supervisor approval to initiate the account creation process.  Contact CIS for more information. 

Account Disablement and Termination

Account Disablement, Account Deletion, and Resource Deletion

A person’s SPU User Account controls access to desktop login, email, department shares and other important business-related resources. SPU User Account termination involves two distinct steps: account “disablement” and account “deletion.” Account disablement makes the account – and all its dependent resources – inaccessible to the original account user. The account remains in the system, however, and can be re-enabled or renamed as needed. Conversely, account deletion permanently removes the user’s account from the system. In both of these instances, dependent resources remain accessible by a administrator until such time that each resource is manually purged. Both steps (account disablement and deletion) are accomplished automatically (via MARS) within a specified time frame (see below) following the employee’s exit interview. These automated processes may be overridden through manual intervention, but only under extenuating circumstances.

Account Termination and Resource Purge Policies

The following table describes account and resource policies for former students and employees of the University. Unless otherwise noted,

ResourceFormer StudentFormer Employee

Access to the Banner Information System via Banweb continues indefinitely; student Banner data is not purged.

Seattle Pacific University reserves the right to restrict former-student access if just cause is determined.

Employee Banner data is not purged; however, employee access to the Banner Information System is terminated within days of severance.

Former-student standing: Banweb access continues indefinitely for former students employed by the University, provided that employment termination was not due to cause.

SPU Username Account

Student SPU User Accounts persist indefinitely following the last quarter for which the student is enrolled at SPU. Access to specific dependent resources varies:

  • Email accounts persist indefinitely for students who have completed undergrad or graduate level credits. The former student may choose to forward SPU email to a current non-SPU account, or may continue to access the account directly via the WebMail interface.
  • Email accounts that receive no activity for a two year period may be cleaned and access suspended until the former student requests to have the resource reactivated.

SPU User Account access for former employees persist for up to 30 days following severance provided the employee leaves SPU in good standing. Access to specific dependent resources varies:

  • Email accounts persist for a grace period of up to 30 days following severance. During this period, the former employee is expected to forward any and all SPU-related messages to the proper University authority. Personal contacts should also be notified that the former employee’s SPU email account will soon become inactive.
  • Employee access to all other dependent resources will be terminated immediately upon employee severance, generally on or about the employee’s last workday.
  • SPU email and network related resources are the property of Seattle Pacific University. The University reserves the right to take ownership of the former employee’s resources at any time during or following employment. Decisions on whether these resources will be purged or reassigned will be decided on a case-by-case basis (see CIS Privileged Account Usage).


  • Former employees to have attained ‘emeriti’ standing may continue to utilize SPU User Account resources indefinitely, as determined on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate University authority.
  • Former-student standing precludes the revocation of email and some other resources providing employment is terminated in good standing. In these instances, the termination/purge policies for former-student standing shall apply.
  • SPU reserves the right to modify these provisions on a case-by-case basis, determined by what is deemed to be in the “best interests” of the university.
Administrative BannerResource not available to students. Consequently, no termination policies apply for students.Administative Banner access is terminated upon employee severance, generally on or about the employee’s last workday.
CanvasCanvas access is determined by class enrollment. If enrollment does not exist, access is not provided. Account maintenance is performed through the Educational Technology and Media department.Resource access may include current employment classification. Other access is not generally provided.
Privileged Database and Server AccessResource is not available to students. Consequently, no termination policies apply.Access to any servers will be terminated immediately upon employee severance, generally on or about the employee’s last workday. SPU reserves the right to modify this provision on a case-by-case basis, determined by what is deemed to be in the “best interests” of the university.

Policy Exceptions and Exclusions

  1. Seattle Pacific University computer accounts and network resources are intended for use by SPU faculty, staff and students. All users are expected to understand and abide by the provisions set forth in the University’s Computer Acceptable Use policy.
  2. Other parties will not generally have access to campus computer resources unless they are granted “exception” status by the appropriate university authority.
  3. Seattle Pacific University reserves the right to modify these provisions on a case-by-case basis, determined by what is deemed to be in the “best interests” of the University.
  4. Exceptions and exclusions to the policies and procedures outlined herein must be formally approved by the department’s Dean or Vice President, and communicated to CIS at least 48 hours in advance of any scheduled automatic or manual processes.

Related Policies and Procedures