Recording and registration of domain names

1. Purpose:
The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines, standards, and procedures as it relates to the domain appstate.edu and the use of Universal Resource Locator (URL) addresses.

1.1. Statement
Appalachian State University requires the central recording and registration of all domain names purchased with Appalachian State University funds and the registration of those names within the appstate.edu domain or served by Appalachian State University domain name servers.

1.2. Rationale
As owner of the Domain Name System (DNS) domain "appstate.edu," and in order to provide a coherent process for the assignment of domain names, the university must maintain a record of its domain name assets and register those names within the appstate.edu domain or hosted on Appalachian State University domain name servers.

2. Scope:
This document applies to all websites and services that are hosted on Appalachian State University’s network or utilize the domain appstate.edu.

2.1. Interested Parties
All information technology personnel responsible for registering or maintaining services utilizing domain names, and anyone registering or requesting a DNS domain or domain name on behalf of the university must follow the procedures outlined in this document.

3. Standards:
Officially recognized units (i.e. campus departments, divisions, and organizations – see Section 5.10 for expanded definition) may request a virtual URL or domain name for use in identifying their unit’s website (webservices.appstate.edu), by submitting a request online (see Section 4.1).

3.1. General Standards

3.1.1. The creation of a website or application does not guarantee granting of a URL.

3.1.2. URLs are granted on a case-by-case basis.

3.1.3. URLs are normally allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

3.1.4. URLs may be reserved for future, eminent use (see Sections 3.1.15 and 3.4.2).

3.1.5. URLs must be unique and cannot conflict with other network registration and naming conventions.

3.1.6. URLs must be meaningful, ie reflect the name of the unit or University-wide service to which it is assigned, or an abbreviation of it.

3.1.7. URLs that may be considered offensive will not be approved for registration.

3.1.8. URLs will not be granted for personal websites.

3.1.9. URLs cannot exceed the fourth level domain space.

3.1.10. Web Services will register URLs with and without the 'www.' prefix unless otherwise instructed not to do so, provided it does not exceed the fourth level domain or conflict with other network registration and naming conventions.

3.1.11. Only two URLs (with [long] and without [short] www.) are provided for departments, divisions, and organizations. Alternate spellings, acronyms, and abbreviations of an existing URL or proposed URL will be considered, but not guaranteed – see Section 3.1.10 for additional information regarding multiple domain names.

3.1.12. Web servers must be configured to resolve to one URL if multiple URLs are registered for one website.

3.1.13. Web servers must be appropriately configured to accept the URL prior to entry into the DNS records.

3.1.14. Secure certificate costs for domain names are the responsibility of the group that requested the domain name unless other arrangements have been made with ITS (Information Technology Services).

3.1.15. If the URL requested already exists but appears unused, contact must be made with the "owner" or administrator of the site and ask the "owner" to relinquish the name first by removing the name from the DNS records.

3.1.16. URLs deactivated due to lack of use (see Section 4.4.1) will be unavailable for 60 days to provide sufficient time for the group to dispute (Section 4.3) the loss of the URL and to ensure sites and search engines linking to the URL recognize the site is no longer available at that URL address.

3.2. appstate.edu standards

3.2.1. URLs should not attempt to replicate administrative or department structure.

3.2.2. Three-part names are reserved for departments, divisions, and organizations (i.e. ced.appstate.edu) – Web Services will register three-part names with and without the www. prefix unless otherwise instructed not to do so.

3.2.3. Three-part names not used as described in 3.2.2 may be requested for campus-wide services (i.e. calendar.appstate.edu). These sites must have prior approval from ITS to ensure the service and support is provided to the entire campus.

3.2.4. Three-part names not used as described in 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 must have prior approval from ITS.

3.2.5. Units may create four-part domains within three-part domains that they own (ie blogs.ced.appstate.edu), provided it does not conflict with this document.

3.2.6. The domain .appstate.edu will not be pointed outside the university except under special, approved situations. URLs may be redirected off-campus when services are contracted by the university with third-parties (ie jobs.appstate.edu redirects to appstate.peopleadmin.com).

3.3. non-appstate.edu standards

3.3.1. URLs outside the appstate.edu namespace pointing to Appalachian State University servers must have prior approval from ITS and NICS (Network Infrastructure and Control Systems). These requests must be submitted online (see Section 4.1) to the University Webmaster prior to registration.

3.3.2. In cases where non-appstate.edu URLs are approved, NICS will register them with an approved registration service, enter the URLs in the University DNS records, and bill the requester, department or group.

3.3.3. NICS will not be responsible for lapses in DNS registration. Reasonable attempts will be made to contact the appropriate person or group when a non-appstate.edu domain expiration is imminent.

3.3.4. URLs purchased or obtained in any other manner with intention to point to University servers will not be allowed and subject to administrative blocking (Section 4.5).

3.3.5. Approved URLs outside the appstate.edu namespace must be listed in the University DNS records.

3.3.6. Non-appstate.edu websites and services hosted by Appalachian must clearly state that Appalachian State University resources are being used for hosting and delivery of site content.

3.3.7. Non-appstate.edu sites must adhere to the Umstead Act (see Section 5.8) as it applies to universities within the UNC system.

3.3.8. There must be a clear, formal affiliation between the university and Appalachian-hosted non-appstate.edu site or service.

3.3.9. If the original requestor for a non-appstate.edu domain leaves the university, a responsible person or group must be delegated to serve as primary contact.

3.3.10. If a non-appstate.edu site or service severs ties with the University, or other circumstances arise that warrant a separation between Appalachian State University and the non-appstate.edu site or service, ITS will disable the service and remove the DNS entries for the service.

3.4. Miscellaneous

3.4.1. DNS updates are executed during normal business hours between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, excluding State and Federal Holidays and scheduled ITS and NICS systems maintenance.

3.4.2. A list of URLs reserved for future campus Internet applications is available from Web Services.

4. Procedures:

4.1. New Requests

4.1.1. Fill out the Virtual URL request form. Virtual URL requests should be made at least two weeks in advance to the requested activation date to provide sufficient time for review and approval.

4.1.2. Wait for a response from Web Services and NICS – do not publish or otherwise advertise the requested URL as it may not be approved.

4.1.3. If approved, the requestor will be contacted via the email address provided that the URL was approved and will be entered on the requested date.

4.1.4. If denied, please see the appeal and dispute procedure (Section 4.3).

4.2. Changes or Deletions

4.2.1. Fill out the Virtual URL request form. Virtual URL changes or deletion requests should be made at least two weeks in advance to the requested implementation date to provide sufficient time for review and approval.

4.2.2. Wait for a response from Web Services and NICS. Contact will be made with all involved parties to ensure the change or deletion is valid and all parties have agreed to the change or deletion of the URL(s).

4.2.3. If approved, the requestor will be contacted via the email address provided that the URL was approved and will be entered on the requested date.

4.2.4. If denied, please see the appeal and dispute procedure (Section 4.3).

4.3. Appeal and Disputes

4.3.1. If a URL request is denied, the requester may appeal this decision in an electronic mail message to webmaster@appstate.edu for forwarding to a review board composed of the University Webmaster, Director of Information Technology Infrastructure, and the DNS Administrator. In the subject line field of the message, please state: APPEAL DOMAIN NAME.

An appeal should include the following information:

  • response to the reason(s) for the denial;
  • any special circumstances that support the request;
  • detailed description of how the requester has sought input from all other potential users or stakeholders of that domain name.

4.4. Periodic Cleanup of URLs

4.4.1. Virtual URLs will be periodically reviewed by Web Services – URLs that appear unused will be removed after reasonable attempts to contact the responsible person or group to check on the status of the URL and service offered at that URL. See the appeal and dispute procedure (Section 4.3) for more information on appealing the loss of URLs.

4.5. Violations

4.5.1. Violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

4.5.2. Violations of this document in regards to appstate.edu URLs may result in the URLs being removed from the DNS, redirection of the URLs to a temporary server, or other administrative blocking until the violation issues are resolved. See Section 3.1 for appstate.edu URL standards.

4.5.3. Violations of this document in regards to non-appstate.edu URLs may result in the URLs being removed from the DNS (if present in the ASU DNS), redirection of the URLs to a temporary server, or other administrative blocking until the violation issues are resolved. See Section 3.2 for non-appstate.edu URL standards.

5. Definitions

5.1. Domain Name: The text name corresponding to the numeric IP address of a computer on the Internet. A domain name must be unique.

5.2. Domain Name Server: A server that matches the URL of a website (i.e. www.appstate.edu) with its proper numeric IP address.

5.3. Domain Name System (DNS): A general-purpose distributed, replicated, data query system chiefly used on the Internet for translating hostnames into Internet addresses.

5.4. Host: A remote machine whose contents can be accessed via the TCP/IP network.

5.5. IP: Internet Protocol - A packet-based protocol for delivering data across networks.

5.6. Three-part domain name: Having three sections in the URL – i.e. its.appstate.edu

5.7. Four-part domain name: Having four sections in the URL – i.e. wmd.its.appstat.edu

5.8. Umstead Act: This Act specifically prohibits North Carolina government agencies from: directly or indirectly selling goods in competition with N.C. citizens; rendering services to the public that are ordinarily provided by private businesses; leasing space in a state owned or operated building for purposes of selling goods or rendering services in competition with private business; contracting with anyone to sell goods or render services in competition with private business. See the North Carolina General Assembly GS 66_58 for more information.

5.9. URL: An acronym for "Uniform Resource Locator," this is the address of a resource on the Internet. World Wide Web URLs begin with http://.

5.10. Unit: in this case, a formally recognized division, department, organization or group within Appalachian State University, or in some cases, an off-campus vendor or service provider.