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Northwestern University

Steward Actions with Forms

Form explanations

Creating Top-Level Folders

Anyone with a Northwestern netID can create a new top-level folder in a SAFER Share with the Create a Top-Level Folder form (the Box interface alone will not allow Stewards or Editors to create top-level folders; the SAFER forms are required).  Once you initiate this form, you become the Steward of this new top-level folder and any subfolders that you create later. In the form, you must also select a second Steward who will receive editor access to the top-level folder and receive an email prompt to sign and approve the form. The folder is created immediately upon the approval of the second Steward.

Do not include sensitive information in the names of your top-level folders, as the names (not the content) are visible in other parts of the application.  The names of subfolders can contain more sensitive information, however, as their names are not visible to anyone but your known collaborators.    

The Director of the Share will receive a notification that this top-level folder was created and that the Stewards are you and the person you chose.  

Creating a top-level folder with this form registers that top-level folder as part of the creation process.  You do not need to separately register the folder.  SAFER-registered folders in Box are labeled in the Box interface with purple tags that say "sensitive."

Instructional Video: 

Registering Folders

Top-Level Folders

If you have an existing folder tree in Box, or elsewhere, and you want that folder tree to be registered in SAFER, that folder tree must first be moved into a SAFER Share.  Folders that have been moved into a SAFER Share are then ready to be registered in SAFER.  Steward permission management by SAFER is enabled when folders are registered.  Stewards can invite collaborators to folders that have been registered.  Contact Weinberg IT or your own organization's IT group to have your folders moved into a SAFER Share.   If your organization is serviced by Northwestern IT, you can submit a service request by emailing consultant@northwestern.edu.     

Anyone with access to the top-level folder of a folder tree that has been moved into a SAFER share can register the top-level folder in SAFER.  Provide (copy and paste) the Box URL of the folder in the Register a Top-Level Folder and its Tree form. By initiating the form, you become a Steward of the top level folder and all of its subfolders. You must also select a second Steward in the form, who will receive an email prompt to sign and approve this action. The second Steward will receive access to this top-level folder, if s/he did not have it already. The Director of the Share will receive a notification that this folder was registered with you and the person you chose as Stewards.  

Within the folder tree in question, submitting this form means only those subfolders that have additional collaborators will be registered in SAFER going all the way down the tree. Subfolders that have no "additive" permissions in this way will not be registered with this form. The folders that are registered in to SAFER with this form are: the top-level and all the folders in that tree with permissions that differ from their parent.  Existing subfolders that have only inherited permissions from folders above are not registered by this form.  SAFER-registered folders in Box are labeled in the Box interface with purple tags that say "sensitive." See the diagram on Waterfall Permissions below.  

Do not include sensitive information in the name of the top-level folder in the tree, as the names of top-level folders (not the content) are visible in other parts of the application.  The names of subfolders can contain more sensitive information, however, as their names are not visible to anyone but your known collaborators. 

Subfolders

If the top-level folder has already been registered, a Steward can subsequently register a subfolder that needs additional collaborators with the Register a Subfolder form and add collaborators on it at the same time. Northwestern students, staff, faculty and external affiliates--both those with and without Northwestern netIDs--can have access to SAFER folders.  The NetID field is optional. The Steward of the related top-level folder must enter the URL of the subfolder into the form.   The associated second Steward will receive an email prompt to approve the form.  The change is made in Box immediately upon the second Steward approval.  The access levels for collaborators offered in SAFER mirror those provided in Box.

SAFER-registered folders in Box are labeled in the Box interface with purple tags that say "sensitive."  

Instructional Video: 

Waterfall Permissions in Box and SAFER 

In the Register a Top Level Folder and its Tree form, for this situation below, the top-level folder, subfolder 2 and subfolder 2A would get registered in SAFER and be given a purple "sensitive" tag in Box online because they have permissions that differ from their parent's in an additive way.  Subfolder 1 and subfolder 2B would not be registered in SAFER at the time of registering the entire tree.  If you wanted to add people to subfolder 1 or subfolder 2B after that initial registration of the tree, you would use the Register a Subfolder form on each folder you wanted to modify individually.  SAFER is not attempting to create a registry for every folder and every file in Box and instead focuses on folder situations of differing permissions that are not duplicitous.  However, all folders in a SAFER share have the same restrictions.  

Waterfall Permissions in Box

Granting, Modifying, or Removing Access on a Folder

Stewards can grant, modify, or remove access to collaborators of already registered folders by using the Change Collaborator Access form. Northwestern students, staff, faculty and external affiliates--both those with and without Northwestern netIDs--can have access to SAFER folders.  The NetID field is optional.  Either Steward initiates the form and the second Steward receives an email prompt to sign the form. The change is made in Box immediately upon the second Steward approval.  The access levels for collaborators offered in SAFER mirror those provided in Box.

Instructional Video: 

Removing A Collaborator from all folders

In cases where a collaborator is leaving the University or transitioning roles, their supervisor or another responsible staff member will wish to remove the SAFER folder access of that departing collaborator from a given SAFER Share.  This multi-folder access removal is possible by completing the Remove a Departing Collaborator Form for each relevant Share.  Anyone with a Northwestern NetID can complete the form, but the supervisor of the collaborator and all pertinent SAFER stewards will be notified of the access removal(s).  The Business Officer assigned to that SAFER share must approve the form in its final state.

The time of access removal can be set in the form to a future date.  All forms are processed at 5 p.m. on that date. The date of action will default to today, if no date is selected. 

The Business Officer will receive a summary on the form of all of the folders that the departing collaborator has access to and can, on a case-by-case basis, remove or retain the access level of that collaborator for each folder within the Share.  If you, as the submitter of the form, would like the Business Officer to retain access to certain folders for the collaborator, you must complete the section labeled “Notes to Business Officer” with an explanation to that effect. 

Submitting this form also takes a snapshot of this collaborator’s access for all relevant folders in this Share prior to any removals. This snapshot can be selected in the Duplicate Collaborator Access Form by a Director as a model with which to use to grant another collaborator the same access.  In this way, the permission set of a previous employee can be given to an incoming employee, for example. 

In a similar way, if a collaborator is not leaving the University, but you want to create a snapshot of his/her permissions to grant to a new collaborator, you can do so on the Remove a Departing Collaborator Form, but then not submit the form or ask on the form that the Business Officer retain each folder for that collaborator and not actually remove access.  The snapshot of the remaining collaborator’s permissions will then be created, but their permission will not be removed. 

Duplicating a Collaborator's Access 

In cases where a new collaborator is starting at the University, their supervisor or another responsible staff member may wish to grant that new collaborator the same access within a SAFER share as the previous collaborator in the same role.  This process is possible via the Duplicate Collaborator Access Form, if there exists in the SAFER database a record of the permission set of the previous collaborator in the given Share.  The Duplicate Collaborator Access Form grants the new collaborator the permission set of an existing collaborator in a similar role. 

The Duplicate Collaborator Access Form can only be submitted by a Director of the Share and must be approved by the Share’s second Director. Stewards do not fill out this form or sign it.  They are, however, notified when the permission changes occur within folders under their purview.  The pertinent Stewards, the recipient collaborator and the two Directors of the Share all receive notifications of the permission changes. 

The Director submitting this form can decide on a folder-by-folder basis whether to grant the new collaborator the model’s permission.  The Director can ignore a folder or make the recipient’s access match the model’s access. The form will display the recipient’s “Current Access” (if any) and the “Model's Access.”  Selecting “Match Access” will make the recipient’s access match the model’s access.  However, this form is not intended for access removal or reduction. To remove or reduce a collaborator’s access, please have a relevant Steward submit the Change Collaborator Access Form

The time of action of this form can be set to a future date.  All forms are processed at 5 p.m. on that date.  The date of action will default to today if no date is selected. 

In some cases, the recipient may already have access to a folder that the model has, which would be indicated by their “current access” status, or they may be inheriting permission to the folder from a folder above.  In this case, SAFER will not automatically adjust the recipient’s access to match the model’s, but it will retain the permission of the recipient at whichever access level is higher: their existing permission or the permission of the model.  Access levels are ranked by Box.  SAFER uses these rankings for making the determination of which level is higher. 

Permission sets are captured on the Duplicate Collaborator Access Form and also on the Remove a Departing Collaborator Form.  The snapshot permission set can then be used as a model for granting a new collaborator another collaborator's entire permissions.  If the model collaborator is not leaving the University, but you want to create a snapshot of his/her permissions to duplicate and grant to a new collaborator for example, you can do so in this form or use the Remove a Departing Collaborator Form, but then not submit either form or ask on the Remove a Departing Collaborator Form that the Business Officer retain each folder for that collaborator and not actually remove access.  The snapshot of the model's permissions will then be created, but their permission will not be actually removed. 

Making Bulk Changes

With the Import Bulk Changes form, Stewards can make multiple changes at once to folders that are anywhere underneath a single top-level folder. If changes under multiple top-level folders are needed, use a new form for each top-level folder.  This form can both create new subfolders and modify existing folders, as well as add collaborators or modify their access.  It is possible to submit this form just to create new folders with or without adding any collaborators to them or just to modify or add collaborators on existing folders, or some combination of both.  The form requires downloading a specific Excel template to organize the information.  The correct Excel cells must be copied and pasted into the form.  You must then validate your changes before continuing.  

On the Excel template, it is necessary to provide:

See the Excel template for directions on how to find the Box ID number of your folders in the Box online interface.  All folders created or modified by the Import Bulk Changes form will be automatically SAFER-registered.  Either steward can submit the form with the other steward receiving an email to approve the form.  Changes are made upon the second steward approval.

Replacing Stewards

Stewards can only be replaced, not simply removed. There are always two Stewards at any given time for any top-level folder in a SAFER share (and its subfolders). One of the two Stewards can replace themselves or the other by initiating the Replace a Steward form. The Director of the Share will receive a notification that a Steward was replaced. The departing Steward will also receive a notification that s/he was replaced. The new Steward receives an email prompt to sign and approve their appointment, which is effective immediately upon their action.

Instructional Video: 

 

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