The purpose of this document is to provide the Terms and Use of Office 365 Groups (herein referred to as “Groups”) and Microsoft Teams (herein referred to as “Teams”). This document outlines the roles, responsibilities, policies and processes that guide, direct and govern the management and operation of Groups and Teams as a broadly-scoped document management and collaboration platform for Mount Saint Vincent University.

Groups and Teams are cloud-based content management and collaboration services managed by Microsoft that are constantly changing. As such, this is a “living” document that will be reviewed and/or updated regularly. All users are responsible for ensuring that they are up to date with the Terms of Use. Users will be made aware when major changes to the Terms of Use have been made.


The scope of this document covers content generated while using all features within Groups and Teams, including:

  • Teams Site (built on SharePoint platform – note that this is different from SharePoint Online or SharePoint on-premise, which have their own policies).
  • OneNote
  • Chat
  • Group Email
  • Calendar


This document applies to any MSVU member who is a member of a Group or Teams, which encompasses faculty, staff, undergraduates, graduates and affiliates. This Terms of Use document also applies to external users (e.g. consultants and partners) that may have authorized access.


Teams is available to all Faculty, staff and students.

Roles & Responsibilities

All users are required to read and adhere to Microsoft’s Terms of Use.

For all intents and purposes in this document:

  • IT&S refers to the service owner and administrator of Teams. IT&S staff are subject to the same Terms of Use.
  • Group or Team Owner refers to users who have elevated privileges for their particular Team that allows them to: add and remove members; edit or delete the Group or Team; set permissions; and change the Group or Team picture.
  • Group or Team Member refers to users who have been granted access to a Group or Team.

IT&S is responsible for:

  • Configuring and securing the system.
  • Developing and maintaining any processes associated with the maintenance, monitoring, security and provisioning of the system.
  • Developing, updating and publishing the governance for Groups and Teams, which includes this Terms of Use document.
  • Enabling/Disabling features.

IT&S is NOT responsible for:

  • Supporting, designing, developing and maintaining solutions within Groups or Teams.
  • Managing, creating, editing, deleting, monitoring or maintaining content within Groups or Teams, including Chat.
  • Managing and delegating end-user permissions settings within Groups or Teams.

Group or Team Owners are responsible for:

  • Reading, understanding and adhering to the Terms of Use (this document).
  • Ensuring their Group(s) or Team(s) always have an active owner. Note: If the current owner leaves the University, either current owner or a Group or Team member must ensure that a new Group or Team Owner has been appointed if the Group or Team is still required, otherwise the Group or Team will be deleted.
  • Managing permissions and access to their content.
  • Ensuring that Group or Team Members, including Guests and external users they have granted access to, are adhering to the Terms of Use (this document), by periodically monitoring content within Groups and Teams and coordinating with Group or Team Members to address instances of non-compliance.

Group or Team Members are responsible for:

  • Reading, understanding and adhering to the Terms of Use (this document).

Data Retention & Removal

To ensure security and good governance, Group and Team Owners must regularly review their Groups and/or Teams to ensure: there are no stale or inactive data; and that user access is still relevant. Data management and review is an important concept from storage, security and legal perspectives. If data is never purged, it accumulates, which can be costly in terms of storage, but may also have potential legal ramifications.

Each Group or Team Owner must determine how long to keep the Group or Team’s data, and where applicable, when to delete the Group, Team and/or data.

Groups or Teams will be removed under the following scenarios:

  1. By request from the corresponding Group or Team Owner(s) or department head.
  2. Violation of the Terms of Use – IT&S reserves the right to block, restrict or remove any sites found in violation.
  3. After 12 months of inactivity, which is defined by the content not being access (read or modified) for 12 months.*
  4. Owner-less or orphaned Groups or Teams may be deleted by IT&S. IT&S will notify Group or Team Members prior to deletion, but if they receive no response, the Group or Team will be deleted. All records associated with the Group or Team’s shared space will be deleted as well.

*Before a Group or Team is deleted due to inactivity, the following process will occur:

  1. After 12 months of inactivity, the Group or Team Owner(s) will be sent an initial email detailing this policy along with a warning that the Group or Team will be automatically removed in three months time. A specific removal date will be indicated in the email. Group or Team Owners can keep the Group or Team by responding to the email.
  2. If no response is received to the first email, a second email warning will be sent one month later, indicating the Group or Team will be removed in two months, on the date indicated in the first email.
  3. One month later, a final email warning will be sent indicating the Group or Team will be removed in one month, on the date indicated in the first email. The Team will be removed on the date specified in the email, and an email will be sent to the Group or Team Owner(s)

Naming Conventions

Users will have discretion over selecting Group and Team names. Users must carefully select meaningful names for Groups and Teams. It is recommended that the Group or Team name should describe it’s function, project or Topic. It is not recommended to use generic functional names or names that have priority by other departments (e.g. HR, Payroll, etc). Group and Team names should not include anything that may be deemed offensive in nature.


Each Group or Team and their associated Group or Team site has a quota limit of 25TB.

Backups & Restores

In cases where a Team has been deleted and needs to be recovered, the only option is for IT&S to submit a request to Microsoft. Requests to the IT&S Help Desk must be submitted within 20 calendar days of deletion.

External & Guest Access

  • Guests and External Users must not be granted any admin privileges.
  • Group or Team Owners are responsible for ensuring that external and guest user access is removed and sharing links are disabled when no longer needed or warranted.
  • Guests and External Users require a valid email address to be added to a Group or a Team.