Understanding roles in SAFER

There are multiple roles to consider when implementing and using SAFER in your department. These roles have different responsibilities and individuals should be carefully considered when granting these roles.

Note: While it is suggested that each of these roles have a different person in them, smaller departments or groups may not have enough people. In these cases, it is possible to have one person fill multiple roles. The exception is that there must be two unique individuals as Stewards.


Stewards are familiar with the content in their top-level folders and all the subfolders and can be relied upon to be present to make and approve necessary permission changes for their folders. Each SAFER share has exactly two Stewards who have Northwestern NetIDs. Stewards can:
  • Manage collaborators’ permissions
  • Register new top-level folders and subfolders
  • Remove a departing collaborator’s SAFER access
  • Transfer stewardship to new Stewards, as needed
Stewards have oversight and equal rights over each of the top-level SAFER folders and all of their subfolders. Stewards should be familiar with the content and generally available, as they will be responsible for making and approving permission changes for their folders and subfolders using the SAFER Forms.

Individual people can be Stewards of multiple top-level folders.


Directors operate in an oversight role, and are familiar with the structure of the entire SAFER Share. Often, a Director is a Department Chair or other high level administrator. They receive emails notifying them only of Stewardship transfers and of new top-level folder creations. No actions are required of them for these processes as they have an oversight role only.

Directors can also complete and approve the Duplicate Collaborator Access Form to provide incoming collaborators with the permission set(s) of current or former collaborators. Two Directors are required to complete this form, so we suggest appointing two Directors, rather than only one. Directors must be Northwestern employees with NetIDs, not external collaborators or affiliates.


Collaborators can still view and interact with Box files and folders according to their permission level. However, these collaborators will not be able to invite additional collaborators. Stewards will need to complete the Change Collaborator Access Form.

Organizational Administrators

Organizational Administrators have oversight at the Organization level, and are familiar with the existence of all the Shares in their Organization. They use SAFER's Admin Interface at http://safer.northwestern.edu to add or remove Directors and create or delete SAFER Shares. They can also use SAFER Forms to add or remove Business Officers. At least one Organizational Administrator is required.

Business Officers

Business Officers are appointed by Organizational Administrators, and are responsible for approving Remove Collaborator Access Forms, which removes departing collaborators from multiple folders in a Share.

There can be more than one Business Officer per Share, but only one Business Officer needs to approve any submitted request.

See Also:

Keywords:"data steward", "SAFER steward", steward, director, business officer, "business officer", "organizational admin", org admin, org administrator, "SAFER form"   Doc ID:83023
Owner:TSS Tier 2 .Group:Northwestern
Created:2018-06-18 12:46 CSTUpdated:2020-06-10 09:44 CST
Feedback:  0   0