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University IT Freeze Information

Freeze Periods Exception Process


In support of the Business Affairs vision along with University IT vision, values and strategic goals, there are certain university activities throughout the year that must be held harmless from the normal work done by University IT.

Freeze Periods Exception Processing

All system changes, including security patches below "High Severity" (4 & 5), should be rescheduled after the freeze.  Requestors of critical changes required during a freeze period, including "High Severity" security patches, should seek an exception with the following process.

Exceptions need to be reviewed in meeting with freeze stakeholders working together to answer:

  1. Why can't the change wait until after the freeze period (i.e., risk to the university if postponed)?
  2. Describe what's changing and those affected (including downstream systems and users possibly involved with the freeze).
  3. If things go wrong (or smoothly) with change, what would be the impact on the freeze outcome or participants involved?

Exception requestor should forward the request with stakeholder input to Associate Vice President for Enterprise Technology for consideration with business office input/approval. If the exception is approved by the Associate Vice President for Enterprise Technology and business office liaison, the requestor should include approval on the change request for CAB review.

Emergency changes required to restore or stabilize services that are currently experiencing a major incident do not need to seek exception approvals.  Instead, they should send the incident number and change request to the Commencement Monitoring distribution list.

All changes should follow the normal change management process and be presented to CAB.

Standard Freeze Exceptions

With very few exceptions, same/similar changes can bring varying risks to different systems depending on many variables, including timing. While exceptions can be documented for each freeze period, it requires each group to ensure that the scope of the change falls within the defined exception.

  • Simple (previously confirmed) Datafix scripts

No additional standard freeze exceptions will be noted unless directed by the Associate Vice President for Enterprise Technology.

Periods and Description

Commencement Freeze

Period: PeopleSoft application Code changes run concurrent with the below window.
Period: Two weeks prior to Commencement for all University IT changes.  (2024 - Morning of June 7  through 5pm on June 20 )
Requested by: Student Services – Registrar (started prior to 2006)
Stakeholders: Tech Team Manager or representatives from PeopleSoft, Oracle Financials, DMR, and MaIS
Description: Support Stanford’s commitment to ensure a smooth commencement for graduates, parents, relatives, central staff, as well as the entire campus community support commencement activities. See detailed operations docs or current UIT News Article
Implementation: Determined when the academic calendar is set, and re-announced in CAB meetings starting in April.  Stringently enforced across University IT


Fiscal Year-End Close (YEC) Freeze

Period: Oracle Financials Apps: Day after July MEC until YEC completes                   (2023 Dates: August 8 - September 20, 11:59 p.m.)
Period: All University IT Systems & Services: August AP Close until YEC completes    (2023 Dates: August 29 - September 20, 11:59 p.m.)
Requested by: VP Business Affairs, AVP AS, AVP Finance (started prior to 2008)
Stakeholders: ET - Oracle Financials Tech Team Manager, ET - Senior Manager, Core Financials and Asset Management (or ET-  Senior Director Financials, Asset and Service Management Systems), ET - Tech Manager of DMR, ET - Tech Manager of PeopleSoft , FMS - Manager of Systems and Reporting Operations.
Description: Minimize risk to YEC schedule due to changes that could impact Oracle Financials or supporting infrastructure
                               See details “FYE Close Freeze Info.pdf
Implementation: Same every year, re-announced in CAB meetings starting late June or early July.  Enforced across University IT

Calendar Year End Gift Processing Freeze

Period: December 8th thru January 11th
Requested by: OOD & SAA Business Office, ET -Oracle Financials Technical Infrastructure Manager (started prior to 2014, updated August 2023)
Stakeholders: CIO - External Releations and SAA, Senior Director of Business Systems and Operations - Office of Development, Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics - Adapt, Director - Service Management and Technology
AVP - UIT Enterprise Technology, Senior Director - ET Data Analytics Reporting & Research Administration, Senior Director - Cross Platform Systems, Senior Director - ET Enterprise Technology Infrastructure, Senior Director - ET Technical Services
Description: Enabling Stanford’s outreach to donors prior to the end of the CY (tax) year and provide full opportunities for donors to make donations at all times should be smooth and without impact to systems/infrastructure supporting the giving process.
See details "Calendar Year End Freeze - Advancement Systems"
Implementation: Announced beginning of December at CAB, but no formal restrictions.  Changes with possible impacts are requested to be moved
Exception Process: Approval by CIO, External Relations and SAA and AVP, Enterprise Technology required.

This process was drafted in the summer and fall of 2018 and approved by the Business Affairs AVP, Executive Director of Enterprise Technology on March 5, 2019 in an email to the change management process owner. Updated August 2023 and confirmed  11/29/2023.


University IT Winter Close
See the current UIT Winter Close page for period, dates and description of supported services. 



Last modified March 21, 2024