Policies and Procedures

14.07 Domain Name Service Policy


To create a policy delineating how domain names shall be assigned at the University. This policy is intended to:

  1. provide consistency in naming the network domains for services and organizations at the University of Northern Iowa, and

  2. provide clarity and consistency to users of the UNI network.

Policy Statement:

Domain Name Service (DNS) is a mechanism used by the Internet community to associate organizations with their electronic sites by assigning names and associated IP addresses to specific computers on the Internet. DNS is also used to provide the organizational affiliation and location of service associated with a specific address.

The first two designations of a domain name are assigned on a national basis. The University of Northern Iowa manages its presence on the Internet under the domain name of "uni.edu". UNI is responsible for assigning subordinate domain names (such as "calendar" in "calendar.uni.edu") to specific Internet protocol (IP) address ranges. While there are no published rules for domain name system implementation, agreement has evolved within the Internet community on how names should be assigned. This agreement assists users and network administrators in navigating an extremely (and increasingly) complicated volume of Internet nodes.

Network Services (NS) in Information Technology Services (ITS) shall be responsible for Domain Name Services (DNS) of the uni.edu domain (IP address space 134.161.xxx.xxx) assigned to the University of Northern Iowa. All uses of both uni.edu domain space and UNI IP address space shall be in support of UNI and its mission. University faculty, staff, students and component organizations desiring to use the university network must register within the uni.edu domain. No domain names other than "uni.edu" may be used by faculty, staff or university entities for university-related business unless approved by the Vice President of the area and the Office of University Relations who will report all exceptions to the Cabinet.


1. Domain Name Format.

Domain names within uni.edu will follow a standard format and will automatically be assigned when new machines are connected to UNI-NET. The format for Standard DNS services entries is "L4.L3.uni.edu" where:

  1. The name structure follows the University’s organizational structure.

  2. L3 (level 3) sub-domains will be University colleges, divisions, schools, institutes, or departments that are officially recognized by the university or campus-wide technology that serves the entire campus. For example: "chaos.cns.uni.edu" for a college specific (CNS) resource or "admin.uni.edu" for a campus-wide technology. Assignment of Level3 sub-domains will be made by ITS with approval from affected administrative units, and if exceptions are requested, in consultation with the Office of University Marketing & Public Relations.

  3. L4 (level 4) sub-domains should reflect the specific service being offered or follow a naming scheme within the department. For example: cdrom.lib.uni.edu.

  4. L3 and L4 sub-domain names must not be trademarked, copyrighted, distasteful, or misrepresent their function. Length limit for combined names is 63 valid characters.

  5. Existing hosts or sub-domains registered under uni.edu that do not conform to this policy will be reviewed to bring them into conformity.

2. Requesting a Domain Name Alias

A University vice president, dean, director, or department head may request a domain name alias. DNS aliases provide a second, perhaps functional, name for a specific computer. These names must be registered within the uni.edu domain and adhere to standard layout for domain names (e.g. calendar.uni.edu is an alias pointing to the computer that is actually named gecko.uni.edu).

In addition, a DNS alias may be used as a convenient mechanism for accessing a specific WWW site. For example, the Mathematics department home page physically located at spider.cns.uni.edu/math is also accessible using the DNS alias of www.math.uni.edu.

University affiliates who have been approved to have a University web site (see 14.08, World Wide Web policy) may be registered within the UNI domain. University affiliates may also choose to register outside the uni.edu domain (e.g. The Iowa Research and Education Network server, maple.iren.net, is served from UNI-NET). DNS services will be provided to affiliate domain names only if they are consonant with the mission of University.

Affiliate domain name aliases may be maintained by the University and allowed to resolve to machines on the University’s network if both of the following conditions are present:

  1. A significant number of people from different organizations inside or outside the University will use the proposed name.

  2. The proposed name is not likely to be confused with the name of a University of Northern Iowa department, function, service, or other unit.

ITS will consult with University Relations if there is a question over the proposed name.

Information Technology Services, Approved 5/00
President’s Cabinet, Approved 5/15/00