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Password Guidelines


Shepherd University is dedicated to ensuring the privacy and proper handling of user passwords on all affiliated Shepherd University information assets and IT resources.


Access to Shepherd University information assets and IT resources are governed by role-based permissions of all users as it pertains to network access, wireless access, e-mail access, and affiliated applications that leverage the campus single-sign-on capabilities (SSO).

Shepherd University mandates all faculty, staff and affiliates to change their primary, network/email password twice a year, with a minimum of 180 days between each change. Students are encouraged, but not mandated, to regularly change their passwords. Users may elect to change their passwords more frequently.

Passwords may be used only by the authorized user. Passwords and user accounts may not be shared with others. User account owners are responsible for all actions performed from their account. Passwords should never be written down or stored electronically in plain text.

All passwords must adhere to the following standards:

  1. Must be at least eight (8) characters in length.
  2. Must include at least one (1) lower-case letter.
  3. Must include at least one (1) upper-case letter.
  4. Must include at least one (1) numeral.
  5. Must include at least one (1) special character (e.g. $,#,!,@).
    a. Please note passwords may not begin with a special character.
  6. Must be changed at least every 180 days.
  7. Should not be an older or reused password.

Shepherd University IT Services will never ask users to disclose their passwords for any reason.


RAIL is a user self-service portal that enables users to make necessary changes to their accounts and perform other self-service functionality (e.g. pay tuition). Users may access RAIL by visiting the Shepherd University website and clicking on RAIL in the Quick Link section. To access RAIL, users will
need their 9-digit Shepherd University ID number (SUID) and PIN. The SUID number is also reflected on the back of users Rambler Card. The PIN is not the same as the user password. The PIN would have been setup initially by the user. If users fail to recall their PIN, they may need to contact the Office of the Registrar to have it reset at 304.876.5463 or 800.344.5231.

Once in RAIL, users need to:

  1. Go to Personal Information.
  2. Select Password Management.
  3. Click on Change Password
    a. Please note the password must follow the above-mentioned guidelines
  4. Log out of RAIL.
    a. Please note, users need to wait a minimum of five (5) minutes before logging back into any Shepherd University network, information asset, or IT resource, to account for the new password to update within all systems.


Shepherd University is dedicated to ensuring the privacy and proper handling of passwords of its students, faculty, staff, and affiliates.

Shepherd University seeks to maintain its IT environment and manage all information assets including data, computing devices, systems technology, telephony, and IT resources in a manner that respects individual privacy and promotes user trust. However, the use of Shepherd University IT resources is not completely private, and users should have no expectation of privacy in connection with the use of any information asset or IT resource.

Shepherd University has the legal right to access, preserve, and review all information stored on or transmitted through any information asset or IT resource, including the inspection of e-mail messages, logging of activities, monitoring usage patterns, and data audits/integrity checks. IT Services may, with or without notice to users, take any other action it deems necessary to preserve, secure, and protect systems, information assets, or IT resources for the betterment of Shepherd University. Without limiting its right to take action, Shepherd University may, at its sole discretion, disclose the results of any general or individual monitoring or access permitted by this policy, including the contents and records of individual communications, to appropriate Shepherd University personnel and/or law enforcement agencies.


These guidelines apply specifically to faculty, staff, and affiliated users; however, students may elect to adhere to this guideline at their discretion.


All Shepherd University students, faculty, staff, and other parties with access to Shepherd University information assets and IT resources shall be responsible for:





BOG#35: Information Technology Security
Acceptable Use Policy
E-Mail Policy
IT Information Security & Privacy Policy
Work from Home & Remote Access Guidelines

POLICY: Password Guidelines
IMPACT: Data, Technology, and IT Resources
CREATED: January 8, 2012
REVISED: November 28, 2022; August 18, 2021
APPROVED BY: CIO/CISO – Information Privacy Officer