The DSC promotes four overarching goals of data stewardship:

  1. quality;
  2. privacy;
  3. security; and,
  4. preservation.

The four goals overlap and are mutually reinforcing.  Privacy and security are closely related and are, in a sense, two sides of the same coin.  Given the importance of privacy and the University’s commitment to protect and promote academic freedom and individual free expression, the DSC promotes privacy as a freestanding goal worthy of independent consideration by data stewards.

The DSC aims to achieve these goals across the data usage lifecycle (creation, sharing, maintenance, retention, and disposal).  If “data” is construed broadly to include a wide variety of information produced by students, staff, and faculty (documents, spreadsheets, photos, graphics, video) in addition to automated data streams (building access, dining hall purchases) and information collected for a specific purpose (vehicle registration, travel registry), the complexity of developing policies for all stages of the data lifecycle becomes clear.  Further, effective policies must be comprehensive to accommodate the changing status of various groups.  For example, a person may change roles (applicants -> students -> alumni -> donors) and questions of data quality, privacy, security, and preservation may change with each role.  The DSC takes a strategic approach to help the University manage such complexity.