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Computer Administrative Access Policy

On Windows and Macintosh computers, a user requires special administrative access to:

  • Install software,
  • Modify system settings, and
  • Manage Users

These tasks are restricted by default since they can have a profound impact on the stability and usability of a computer. Due to the availability of trained and experienced support staff and the inherent risks of inappropriate, uninformed, or unintentional use of logins with administrative access, the University’s practice is to restrict the use of administrative access.

The University's stance on administrative access is intended to support the goal of ensuring the highest level of stability and usability for users. This is based on the premise that computers are primarily a productivity tool where stability and usability are most important. In such an environment, limiting administrative privileges is an IT "best‐practice" as change management is one of the foundations of providing a stable computing environment.

Administrative access is typically reserved for Information Technology Services (ITS) personnel who are responsible for providing administrative services such as system maintenance and Client Technical Support. As an alternative to administrative access on the workstation, the ITS department highly recommends and fully supports contacting the IT Service Desk to schedule software installations. ITS support staff will happily work with faculty and staff to install, update, or modify applications and computer configurations as appropriate.

The IT Service Desk should be your first point of contact for technical assistance. Contact the Service Desk by sending an email to or calling 828.251.6445.  The IT Service Desk Self-Service Portal is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Self-Service portal allows a user to request assistance from ITS using a simple web form.

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