WebEx Policy

WebEx Appropriate Use Policy

NOTE: Webex will be decomissioned on Feb. 1, 2023 by Duke University and Duke Health.
Learn more: https://oit.duke.edu/about/news/webex-accounts-will-be-decommissioned-feb-1-2023.

WebEx is an online web and phone conferencing tool intended to support the business, teaching, learning and scholarship of Duke Medicine and Duke University faculty, staff and students. Duke Medicine and Duke University faculty and staff may use WebEx for:

  • courses they teach (including courses in which non-Duke students are enrolled)
  • committees engaged in scholarly endeavors
  • scholarly groups of which they are a member
  • non-profit, educational community groups
  • department, project or common interest groups in support of and in the best interest of the business of Duke University and Duke Medicine
  • Recordings may not contain PHI data covered by HIPAA

Access to WebEx

Participation to a WebEx session is open to all. Ability to host a WebEx session will be granted as follows:

  • Duke faculty, staff, affliates, guests and non-Duke users: can obtain a host account by providing a Duke NetID credential and a verified Duke fund code. Duke users may change their NetID passwords by going to http://www.duke.edu/online.

User roles:

Available user roles include the following:

  • Hosts are super users and can schedule meetings, events, training sessions and support sessions, admit and eject participants (as well as control their audio and video) and give others presenter status. There can only be one host at a time in any given WebEx session.
  • Presenter: Has the ability to share their screen.
  • Participant can share audio and video (if allowed, depending on Center used) and view the web session.


Access to WebEx is controlled by your password, which is encoded in the URL you provide via email to intended participants. NetID is not required to attend a WebEx session.

Course Groups:

Admittance to WebEx is not currently synchronized with Duke course groups. This may be added in the future.

Length of access to recordings:

Access to sessions and session recordings is at the discretion of the WebEx host. Hosts wanting to retain access to recordings should save such content prior to leaving Duke or receiving notification from the WebEx host that the recording will be removed. For course related recordings, at the end of a given semester, instructors are encouraged to make their recordings unavailable to students, in the reverse of the process they used to make the recordings available at the start of the semester.

Students should plan to download any recordings prior to completion of that course if granted permission to do so by the instructor. Access to previous course recordings is at the discretion of the course instructor

Communications and Technical Administration of WebEx

Standard maintenance window:

Routine maintenance is at the discretion of Cisco.

Planned outages:

WebEx planned outages will take place as scheduled by Cisco. Planned outages will be announced as soon as we receive notification from Cisco. Outages will be announced via the OIT Service Updates page, the WebEx Service Updates Page or via subscription to the WebEx Announce Mailing List. Based on the severity of the change, Duke Medicine and Duke University management may elect to directly email all subscribers to the service.

Unplanned/emergency outages:

WebEx unplanned or emergency outages will be emailed and posted on the places listed above as soon as possible.

System administrator access to WebEx:

WebEx system administrators may access WebEx to solve technical support tickets or in response to help queries from faculty or staff, and may temporarily add a test account to help troubleshoot. System administrators may access WebEx as part of system testing and maintenance with no advance permission from instructors or WebEx hosts. System administrators will not extract data about system usage for faculty or students, except when deemed necessary to troubleshoot a system problem. Any information or data discovered about a WebEx or user during the course of system testing or investigations will not be shared with any other faculty or user.

WebEx Storage Management

Saving Recordings And Files:

For course related WebEx recording and files, at the end of each semester, faculty should consider downloading any recordings or files uploaded. These files should be retained by the faculty member, outside of the WebEx system, according to the storage guidelines of their department. Any unneeded files should be deleted.

Storage (recording and file) size limitations:

At this time, there is no limitation on the size of recordings or file storage.

Information Security

The WebEx user database is fed directly from the Duke enterprise directory system, thus allowing hosts to login with their Duke NetID and password. The security of these accounts is crucial for maintaining a reliable and trusted resource for online instructional and business. You should never share your NetID or password with anyone for any reason.

Controlling access to student information:

Duke University has an established Data Classification Standard, which defines Sensitive Data as including FERPA-protected student data. As with other sensitive university records, the privacy and security of student information (including but not limited to: grades, test scores, usernames and ID numbers) must closely guarded. Grades should not be posted so that students may see scores belonging to other class members (for example, do not post grades in a spreadsheet uploaded to the community).

Controlling access to protected health information:

WebEx may be used to conduct sessions that contain PHI. However, due to HIPAA compliance concerns, the WebEx recording feature may not be used to store recorded copies of sessions containing PHI.

Back to Top

Copyright and Fair Use

Posting copyrighted materials:

Copyright law and Fair Use Guidelines allow faculty to provide access to copyrighted materials using WebEx, as long as the guidelines are followed and copyrighted materials are accessible only to enrolled members of the course. Instructors are advised to consider the use of Duke Library’s e-reserves system to avoid infringement.

Linking to WebEx from external sites:

It is possible to link to a WebEx directly from websites external to WebEx. Users may, however, be prompted to provide the password when they first attempt such access.

Back to Top

Intellectual Property

System management data:

Information regarding WebEx system performance or usage is considered the property of Duke. Information regarding specific WebEx s or individual accounts will be held in confidence, although data may be gathered and presented in aggregated form by Duke staff members (e.g., CIT, OIT, Library) for professional development activities, such as conference presentations and scholarly/industry publications, as well as for reporting on system performance or use.

Back to Top


Computing Policies

Use of WebEx, by staff, students and faculty, are governed by the Office of Information Technology’s Computer Policies and Guidelines, which include:

  • Computing and Networking: Acceptable Use — appropriately access only the information for which you are authorized
  • Group E-Mail Policy — the WebEx e-mail tool(s) should be used only for invitation purposes

WebEx Account Retention Policy

Purpose of Policy

This policy defines how long a WebEx account will be retained in the centrally-managed WebEx system before it is deleted. It also describes ways instructors can obtain a copy of the contents of a WebEx before it is deleted.

Policy Summary

WebEx accounts will be retained for one year after an individual host’s NetID is deactivated and then will be deleted (along with its recordings and uploaded files). This policy is effective beginning September 1, 2012 and applies to all accounts.


  1. The primary purpose of WebEx is to provide a method for online collaboration that is used to enhance the business, teaching and learning environment for a class during a given academic period and for staff and researchers during the course of their work.
  2. WebEx is not the archival record of a course or project. There are other university systems which serve as the archival record of materials and recordings.
  3. As detailed in the Sakai Retention Policy, the WebEx policy is that recordings from active accounts will be maintained for four years. Recordings for inactive accounts will be deleted one year after their account is deactivated.

Guiding Principles

  1. To comply with any University policies related to course material retention.
  2. To retain centrally-stored WebEx recordings and materials for a period of time that is helpful to staff, instructors and students.
  3. To guide instructors and staff in developing their own procedures for long-term storage of their WebEx recordings and materials.
  4. To optimize the performance of the WebEx system.
  5. To ensure that online storage space provided for WebEx is used efficiently and to minimize the financial and technical impact of constantly increasing disk use.


  1. Instructors may download recordings per these instructions.

Scope of Policy

This policy covers WebEx and materials stored the WebEx system for accounts created on or after September 2012. This policy does not cover materials stored in an individual’s home directory, personal Web space, centrally-supported OIT services, school-based media servers or departmental/school-based file storage space.

Review of Policy

This policy has been reviewed by the CIT Director, Senior Administrators, ITAC, and the WebEx Advisory Group. The policy may be reviewed and changed as needed.

Issues to be Further Considered

Content stored in other campus tools can often be linked from within WebEx. These other tools may have their own retention policies. Therefore the ability to access these materials is independent of the WebEx system.

Periodic updates of WebEx are required to keep Duke’s WebEx system current with supported versions and typically include new and enhanced features that are of value to staff, instructors and students.