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SharePoint Governance Policy

1. Users and roles

Within SharePoint, users may be allocated one or more roles, including Site Collection Administrator, Site Owner, Site Member, and Visitor. The role determines which rights the user has, including the extent to which the user may grant rights to other users.

A site or resource owner may authorise access to a site or resource to anyone holding Oxford Single Sign-on credentials (including staff, students, and virtual access card holders).

Predefined groups (e.g. by unit affiliation, selected roles) are derived from Active Directory and may be used for scoping access to resources within SharePoint.

2. Site provisioning and de-provisioning

The responsibility for creating a site falls upon individuals across a variety of roles, depending on the nature of the site and where the site appears within the organisational structure of the collegiate University of Oxford.

In summary, a request for a SharePoint site should be put to the owner of a departmental or Large Unit Site Collection. These individuals are usually referred to as SharePoint Co-ordinators. If no appropriate Site Collection appears to exist, the request should be put to the OUCS Help Centre, outlining the purposes of the site, the numbers of anticipated users, and anticipated storage required.

2.1. Provisioning Site Collections

Site collections are created as required for departments, colleges and larger units by the Nexus Team at IT Services and these collections should be managed by SharePoint Co-ordinators, based locally within those units. See the Guide for SharePoint Co-ordinators for more information.

The University Organisational Chart is used to position Large Unit Site Collections within the structure of the University. Requests for sites should therefore be referred to the owner of the corresponding site collection, where appropriate.

Site collections are subject to a storage quota (see below). This quota is given to the site collection depending on the initial categorisation. A departmental or Large Unit Site Collection is intended to (eventually) contain a large number of sites. Other sites may be designated as site collections (Other Site Collection) if they do not easily fit into the University Organisational Chart or if they have a very different set of default permissions (regarding user access) than the Large Unit Site Collection.

2.1.1. Site collection governance

The governance of sites within a Large Unit Site Collection and an Other Site Collection lies with the SharePoint Co-ordinator for that Unit. The SharePoint Co-ordinator may devolve responsibility to the owner of an Other Site Collection, where appropriate.

2.1.2. Governance of site collections where a SharePoint Co-ordinator cannot easily be found

Where a site collection is required by at least one individual and where no appropriate SharePoint Co-ordinator can be found, IT Services reserves the right to refuse to create the site collection. However, in some situations, the following process may be adopted as a temporary measure.

Upon receiving a request for a site collection, or where a site request effectively means that a site collection should be formed, a SharePoint Co-ordinator is first sought in order to take responsibility for that site collection. The SharePoint Co-ordinator would ideally be found in the larger unit (as described above). Where a SharePoint Co-ordinator cannot be found, and/or where the appropriate SharePoint Co-ordinator associated with a Large Unit Site Collection refuses to take responsibility for the Other Site Collection, IT Services may agree to take on the governance of the site collection for a short period, of typically six months. If, after the short period has elapsed and no candidate SharePoint Co-ordinator has become apparent, IT Services may remove the site collection from the Oxford Nexus SharePoint service.

2.1.3. My Sites

Note that My Sites are a special category of site collection. My Sites are available to University members, including undergraduates, who have an Oxford Nexus email account.

2.2. Site Creation

Technically, some or all SharePoint Co-ordinators take the role of Site Collection Administrator and these individuals have the responsibility for the creation of individual sites within those site collections as they are needed.

The site provisioning process is described here.

Once the site has been created, the site owner is able to access their site and begin its development. Site owners are able to create further sites below their main site. However, any additional sites will not increase the quota associated with the site collection.

N.B. Each site uses some of the parent site collection quota. We strongly advise that site owners only create the sites and site types they actually need. Any that are no longer required should be deleted to free up site collection space.

2.3. Site de-provisioning

In order to ensure sufficient capacity to meet demand, site owners and their SharePoint Co-ordinators are expected to manage the allocated storage, including deleting sites that are no longer required.

If a site remains inactive for 120 days the site or site collection owner may be alerted. If no response is received, the site may be made read-only. If, after repeated contact attempts, no further response is received from the site owner or unit responsible then the site is liable to be permanently deleted after a further 60 days.

2.3.1. My Sites

My Sites are automatically deleted 14 days after the individual’s account is deleted from Active Directory. This is usually a consequence of the expiry of a University Card and/or the departure of the individual from the University.

3. Site collection storage quota

Note that My Sites are a special category of site collection.

Site collections are subject to a quota. This quota is given to the site collection depending on the initial categorisation and is ‘consumed’ by the main site, plus all of the sites grouped within. The quota given to site collections is given within the SharePoint Service Level Description.

The storage quota policy is subject to periodic review. In the meantime, site collection quota increases will be considered on application to the Nexus Team via the Service Desk where grounds for increasing the default quota must be clearly laid out. In the future a paid scheme for additional quota might become available.

4. Sponsoring external users

The Oxford Nexus SharePoint Service was formulated with external collaborators in mind. In time, there may be a variety of methods with which to provision service to users who are external to Oxford University. Nevertheless, the sponsor of the external user takes on responsibility for ensuring that the external user is aware of his/her responsibility of abiding by the Guidelines for Acceptable Use of the SharePoint Service and, especially the University Regulations Relating to the use of Information Technology Facilities (see

Currently, if there is a need to allow external users access to whole sites or particular documents, a Virtual Access Card must be requested.

Please follow the procedure set out at (page available only when on the University network). Once a SSO username has been generated for the external user, then the permissions should be amended - on the document, list, library, site or other object that is required to be shared or granted read access etc. - for the desired level of access for that external user. See documentation regarding ‘Setting Access Permissions’ within the Support site within Oxford Nexus SharePoint ( for guidance in setting such permissions.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 30 November 2017